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Issue Brief


Ohio U.S. Senatorial Candidate Spending Analysis - Sherrod Brown

October 1, 2012











Ohio U.S. Senatorial Candidate Spending Analysis – Sherrod Brown

Total Net Spending Agenda: $6.195 billion

 

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: $371 million

A. Establish a National Manufacturing Strategy:

“Sherrod’s four-point National Manufacturing Strategy is based on … [i]nnovation and [e]ntrepreneurship … [e]ducation and [w]orkforce [t]raining …  [i]nfrastructure … [and] [t]rade [e]nforcement and [e]xport [p]romotion … .”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/energy/

“Sherrod … promotes economic development clusters to attract more private investment in Ohio.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/jobs/

Cost: $347 million ($1.6 billion over five years) (partial estimate).

Source:

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Unknown. Senator Brown has introduced S. 2140 (112th Congress), the Business Incubator Promotion Act. The bill would authorize “such sums as are necessary” to encourage the development of business incubators. A cost estimate is currently not available.
  • Education and Workforce Training: $45 million ($90 million over two years).

    Senator Brown has introduced related legislation in the form of S. 665 (112th Congress), the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act of 2011. A related temporary sector partnership grant program targeted to communities impacted by trade was included in the enacted text of H.R. 1 (111th Congress), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The text authorized $90 million for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010.

    Senator Brown has also introduced legislation related to education and workforce training including: S. 2108 (112th Congress), the Youth Corps Act of 2012, which would establish a program to educate and train youth, and S. 3488 (112th Congress), a bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to provide additional educational assistance under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance to veterans pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math, and for other purposes. A cost estimate for either bill is currently not available.
  • Infrastructure: $302 million ($1.51 billion over five years). Senator Brown has introduced related legislation in the form of S. 1550 (112thCongress), the National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2011. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is available for a related proposal that was included in S. 1549, the American Jobs Act of 2011. Subtitle F of Title II would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority to provide federal loans and loan guarantees to certain transportation, water, and energy projects.

    http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1549.pdf
  • Trade Enforcement and Export Promotion: Unknown. Senator Brown introduced related legislation in the form of S. 3347 (112th Congress), the 21st Century Trade Agreements and Market Access Act, a bill to require reports on countries with which the United States negotiates trade agreements, to establish terms for future trade agreements, to enhance the promotion of exports of United States goods and services, and for other purposes.  There may be some administrative costs associated with the implementation of this proposal, but a cost estimate is currently not available. Senator Brown also supported some additional bills in the 112th Congress related to trade enforcement, none of which were expected to result in spending. Typically, foreign trade agreements impact revenues rather than outlays.

 

B. Pressure Currency Manipulating Countries:

I won't stop fighting in Washington until my [currency manipulation] bill becomes law."

http://www.thelantern.com/campus/sherrod-brown-runs-on-job-record-education-1.2911387#.UGXsJpjA_op

Cost: $4 million ($20 million over five years).

Source: Senator Brown sponsored S. 1607 (110th Congress), the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2007. The bill would require the Department of the Treasury to identify undervalued foreign currencies and report recommended actions to be taken in response. The bill would also establish a new Advisory Committee on International Exchange Rate Policy. A CBO cost estimate is available. Senator Brown reintroduced the bill in the form of S. 1619 in the 112th Congress.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/85xx/doc8538/s1607.pdf

 

C. Expand Broadband Internet Access:

“A key tenet of Sherrod’s strategy for creating jobs in rural Ohio is to expand broadband Internet access to every Ohioan.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/agriculture-and-ohios-rural-economy/

Cost: $20 million ($100 million over five years).

Source: Senator Brown has introduced S. 2298 (112th Congress), the Connecting Rural America Act. The bill would increase funding for rural electrification grants and expand the program to include broadband development projects. The text of the bill authorizes $20 million annually.

Education, Science, and Research: $6 billion

A. Modernize Schools:

“A good education shouldn’t be out of reach for our students or our veterans, and whether it’s better classrooms in our elementary schools or more affordable student loans that make higher education a reality regardless of income status, I’ll never stop working for Ohio’s students.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/blog/releases/2012/sherrod-brown-campaign-launches-students-for-sherrod/

“It’s harder to succeed in school when you’re not in a comfortable learning environment.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/sherrod-brown-fighting-ohios-students/

Cost: $6 billion ($30 billion over five years).

Source: Senator Brown introduced related legislation in the form of S. 1597 (112th Congress), the Fix America’s Schools Today Act of 2011. The text of the bill authorizes $30 billion. A CBO estimate is available for a related proposal that was included in S. 1549, the American Jobs Act of 2011. Subtitle D of Title II would provide $30 billion for school modernization. CBO estimates that this spending would be spread over five years.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1549.pdf

Note:  Regarding “better classrooms” and “comfortable learning environment[s]”, NTUF assumes Senator Brown is referring to continued support for S. 1597, a bill he mentions on his campaign website: “With a number of Ohio’s schools in need of significant repairs, Sen. Brown introduced the ‘Fix America’s Schools Today Act’ which would create or save hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country and an estimated 12,800 in Ohio to renovate and repair schools across the state.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/sherrod-brown-fighting-ohios-students/

 

 

Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: -$223 million (savings)

A. Impose Limits on Payments to Wealthy Farmers:

“ … Sherrod will continue to use every opportunity to find savings on legislation that comes before the Senate.  Here are some examples: … [i]mposing reasonable payment limits to prevent wealthy farmers from securing federal subsidies.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/fiscal-responsibility/

Cost: -$223 million (-$1.116 billion over five years).

Source: Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2012, Terminations, Reductions, and Savings, page 99. In his Fiscal Year 2012 Budget, the President proposed reducing commodity payments to wealthy farmers. A more recent cost estimate is not available.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/trs.pdf

 

B. Fight for Family Dairy Farmers:

 “Sherrod will continue to fight for the economic well-being of family dairy farms across Ohio.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/agriculture-and-ohios-rural-economy/

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Due to a lack of specificity in Senator Brown’s statement, NTUF cannot determine what, if any, cost or savings effects would result from these proposals. It is possible that policies intended to support dairy farmers may increase the price of milk, and therefore increase expenditures for federal nutrition programs.

 

Government Reform: -$3 million (savings)

A. Freeze Discretionary Spending for Five Years:

“In the near term, Sherrod supports a five-year freeze on spending subject to the annual appropriations process, which will save $400 billion.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/fiscal-responsibility/

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear how this proposal would interact with recent policies. On August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 was signed into law. This Act imposed caps to slow (and in some cases reverse) discretionary spending growth over the next several Fiscal Years. Furthermore, given the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to agree on a deficit reduction package, the BCA mandates broad-based funding cuts known as “sequestration” to certain discretionary and mandatory programs. Relative to this law, a “spending freeze” could actually increase outlays.

http://i.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/CRS_budgetcontrol.pdf

 

B. Eliminate Automatic Congressional Cost-of-Living Increases:

“[Brown] … supports legislation to eliminate the automatic cost-of-living increases for members of Congress.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/fiscal-responsibility/

Cost: -$3 million (first-year savings).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 133 (112th Congress), to repeal the provision of law that provides automatic pay adjustments for Members of Congress. NTUF determined the savings. Senator Brown is a cosponsor of S. 133.

 

Health Care: Unknown

A. Ensure Timely Access to Generic Biologic Drugs:

“ … Sherrod will continue to use every opportunity to find savings on legislation that comes before the Senate.  Here are some examples: … [a]llowing more timely access to generic biologic drugs… . Allowing greater access to biologics would reduce government spending by $25 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/fiscal-responsibility/

Cost: Unknown.

Note: In 2008, CBO reported that increased access to generic biologic drugs would reduce total national health expenditures (from both public and private purchasers) by $25 billion over ten years. Of that amount, CBO estimated that the federal government would save $5.9 billion, mostly through Medicare.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) included a provision to speed up the approval process of generic biologics, also known as biosimilars. CBO’s re-estimate of PPACA determined this will save $2.9 billion over ten years.

An additional related bill, S. 3187 (112th Congress), the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, was signed into law on July 9, 2012. CBO estimates that a section of the bill could further accelerate the market entry of certain biosimilar and generic drugs, for a savings to federal health programs of $753 million over ten years. The cost estimate report was released for an earlier draft of the bill, S. 2516.

It is unclear what additional steps Senator Brown would promote.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/94xx/doc9496/s1695.pdf

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/FY2013ReestimateofthePresidentsBudget-Health.pdf

http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/S2516.pdf

 

B. Improve Health Care:

 “Fighting for lower prescription drug costs, health care affordability, lifesaving medical research, and other key health care priorities will continue to be front and center in Sherrod’s Senate agenda.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/a-family-doctor-for-every-family/

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Due to a lack of specificity in Senator Brown’s statement, NTUF cannot determine what, if any, cost or savings effects would result from these proposals.

 

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $50 million

A. Pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act:

“ … Senator Brown … is a supporter of the DREAM Act which would allow children of immigrant parents brought to the United States to stay if they have been admitted to a U.S. college or enlisted in the military and met other requirements.”

Cost: $50 million ($248 million over five years).

Source: Related legislation was introduced in the form of S. 3992 (111th Congress), the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The bill would grant conditional nonimmigrant status and extend certain benefits to illegal aliens. A CBO estimate is available. The bill was reintroduced in the 112th Congress in the form of S. 952. Senator Brown is not a cosponsor of either bill.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/119xx/doc11991/s3992.pdf

 

National Security and International Relations: Unknown

A. End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

“ … Sherrod will continue to use every opportunity to find savings on legislation that comes before the Senate.  Here are some examples: … [e]nding the trillion-dollar off-balance-sheet spending from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/fiscal-responsibility/

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Actual savings will depend on the timeline for removal of all U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2013, Summary Tables, page 239. The President’s FY 2013 Budget requested $96.7 billion for what it labels “Overseas Contingency Operations,” i.e., spending related to the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Budget also called for $44.2 billion per year for Fiscal Years 2014 to 2022. In May, 2012, President Obama said, “Last year, we removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. After that, reductions will continue at a steady pace, with more and more of our troops coming home. And as our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/tables.pdf

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/remarks-president-obama-address-nation-afghanistan

 

B. Secure Ballot Access:

“I am committed to fighting for these principles [fair access at the ballot box], and I pledge to continue that work in the U.S. Senate.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/blog/releases/2012/sherrod-brown-campaign-launches-african-americans-for-sherrod/

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Senator Brown has introduced related legislation in the form of S. 3322 (112th Congress), the Servicemembers’ Protection Act of 2012. Among other provisions, the bill would require states to certify that absentee ballots will available by a certain date prior to elections for uniformed and overseas citizens. There may be some administrative costs associated with the implementation of this legislation, but a cost estimate is currently not available. It is unclear from Senator Brown’s campaign website what additional measures for non-servicemembers he may support.

 

Veterans: Unknown

A. Support Veterans:

“Sherrod is a leading voice for Veterans’ issues. He is committed to creating jobs, expanding education benefits, and increasing access to health care services for all of our military Veterans.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/blog/news/2012/local-army-generals-and-veterans-denounce-josh-mandel-for-calling-sherrod-browns-auto-rescue-vote-un-american/

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Due to a lack of specificity in Senator Brown’s statement, NTUF cannot determine what, if any, cost or savings effects would result from these proposals.

 

Miscellaneous: Unknown

A. Provide a Fair Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment:

“ … [Brown] authored and will continue to promote legislation to provide a [Social Security] cost of living adjustment (COLA) that is more fair for seniors and reflects actual cost increases seniors face. He is also advocating for changes in the formula that determines the COLA to make sure Social Security beneficiaries receive the annual increases they need in light of increases in the costs of health care, energy, food and other basic necessities.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/standing-up-for-seniors/

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Under current law, the Social Security COLA is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) reported Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers from the third quarter of the last year. Beneficiaries received a 3.6 percent COLA in 2012, but because of the lagging economy, there were no COLAs in 2010 and 2011.

Senator Brown has introduced S. 1867 (112th Congress), the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act. The bill would require BLS to calculate a new Consumer Price Index based on expenditures which are typical for individuals who have attained early retirement. A cost estimate is currently not available.

 

Fiscal Notes:

“To control deficit spending in the long run, Sherrod supports a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/fiscal-responsibility/

“Americans know that Social Security is independent of the federal budget, and Sherrod is fighting attempts to raise the Social Security retirement age, cut benefits, and privatize the program under the false premise that slashing Social Security would help reduce the federal deficit.”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/standing-up-for-seniors/

“[Brown] is working to ensure that Medicare pays doctors adequately so that seniors don’t lose access to the health care professionals they trust …  .”

http://www.sherrodbrown.com/issues/standing-up-for-seniors

Note: On February 22, 2012, H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 was signed into law. The bill enacted what has become known as a “doc fix,” which prevents cuts in Medicare’s physician payment rates from taking effect. H.R. 3630 extends the current payment rates until December 31, 2012. NTUF assumes that Senator Brown was referring to his support of the related provision in this legislation. Congress routinely passes measures to prevent a reduction in these payments. CBO estimated that the physician payment update in H.R. 3630 will cost $14.3 billion over the next five years.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr3630_2.pdf