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Taxpayers Tab

Taxpayers Tab Issue #14

April 26, 2011


Vol. 2 Issue 14 April 26, 2011


Foundation Internship Spots Still Available

NTUF is looking for summer and fall associate policy analysts to participate in our internship program. Associates assist with BillTally research and other policy projects. Academic credit is possible. Email questions to To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!

Most Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 1209, Section 8 Voucher Reform Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: $1.511 billion ($7.554 billion over five years)

Roughly five million households receive rental assistance from programs managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To be eligible for the government's rental vouchers, a family's income must be below either 50 percent or 80 percent of the area's median income, depending upon the program. Sponsored by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35), H.R. 1209 would change and streamline formulas for determining housing allowances, specifically for senior citizens, the disabled, and those with children and dependents.

The bill would provide an additional 150,000 tenant-based vouchers. The average cost of each new voucher would amount to $7,500 and would be distributed on an annual basis. H.R. 1209 also creates 41,300 vouchers that would help to pay for HUD-related mortgages and to replace Section 8 dwellings.

According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), H.R. 1209 would result in $7.554 billion in new spending over the next five years. Up to 87 percent of the bill's cost would result from the new vouchers.

Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 1217, a bill to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund

Annualized Savings: $1.22 billion ($6.1 billion over five years)

Established in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Prevention and Public Health Fund provides grant assistance to public and private entities to carry out prevention, wellness, and public health activities. Under the health care bill, the Fund was to receive $750 million in 2011 and $2 billion per year through fiscal year 2015.

H.R. 1217 would repeal the authority and rescind any unobligated tax dollars associated with the Fund. According to CBO, taxpayers would save $6.1 billion between 2012 and 2016, if the bill, sponsored by Congressman Joseph Pitts (PA-16), was signed into law.

Most Friended

The Bill: H.R. 1297, Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: No Cost - Conditional

Number of Cosponsors: 179 Congressmen

In March, the federal government came within hours of a shutdown because lawmakers were unable to agree upon a new budget or a temporary spending measure. In response to the possibility that members of the Armed Forces would continue to serve without pay in the event a budget was not passed, Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-1) introduced H.R. 1297. The bill provides for emergency spending to the Department of Defense to pay military personnel, both regular and reserve components.

The bill is a conditional measure and would not require any new spending unless the federal government faced another budgetary impasse. The cost of H.R. 1297 is uncertain because the length and scope of such an event is unpredictable.

Cosponsors include 35 Democrats and 144 Republicans in the House.

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The Wildcard

The Bill: H.R. 307, Seed Availability and Competition Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: To Be Determined

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) introduced a bill to establish a Patented Seed Fund. Farmers who use patented seed in their fields would be required to pay a fee to the Fund. The Fund would then transfer the money to seed patent holders. Fee amounts would depend on the type and quantity of seed the farmers use in their fields.

H.R. 307 would also impose a tariff on imported genetically modified seed, if the royalties paid to the patent holder are not in the US.

NTUF has not yet determined the new spending that might result from the establishment of the Patented Seed Fund. However under BillTally Methodology, the tariff would likely not change federal outlays. Duties from the tariff would be deposited in the Fund to be be distributed to patent holders. The duties would be scored as revenues but any funds payed out from the Fund would be scored as outlays.

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Issue 13 - Apr. 18

Issue 12 - Apr. 12

Issue 11 - Apr. 7 Quarterly Snapshot

Issue 10 - Mar. 30

Issue 9 - Mar. 24


About NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a research and educational organization dedicated solely to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax policies, spending programs, and regulations at all levels affect them now and in the future. Through NTUF's timely information, analysis, and commentary, we're empowering citizens to actively engage in the fiscal policy debate and hold public officials accountable every day.

NTUF is a 501(c)(3) research and education organization. Donations are deductible for personal income tax purposes. Please make a donation today to help further NTUF's mission of research and education!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation or as a comment on any Member's fitness to serve.



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