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Stay Tuned for a Special 100 Day Report
In the coming weeks, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation will be releasing a report detailing the proposed spending of the House of Representatives during the first 100 days of the 112th Congress. NTUF is America's only research organization that conducts a full study of what federal legislatures would spend if all their supported measures were enacted into law. As always, special highlights and exclusive commentary will be available through The Taxpayer's Tab.
Most Expensive Bill of the Week
The Bill: H.R. 1544, Corridor N Extension Act of 2011
Annualized Cost: $273 million ($1.365 billion over five years)
The Corridor N Extension Act calls for extending US Route 219 by 149 miles from Edensburg, Pennsylvania to Salamanca, New York. The bill introduced by Congressman Mark Critz (PA-12) would cost $3.278 billion. Based on data from the Appalachian Regional Commission, NTUF estimates the planning and construction of the highway length would take 12 years.
NTUF determined that similar highway construction in the region costs $22 million per mile.
Least Expensive Bill of the Week
The Bill: H.R. 349, IRS Fee Reform Act of 2011
Annualized Savings: -$179 million (-$895 million over five years)
Since 1995, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has charged taxpayers for some of its services, such as entering into payment plans. The fees collected are retained by the IRS. A 2006 piece of legislation allows the Service to keep the fees to supplement its annual appropriation. As of 2008, the IRS had $188 million in fees remaining.
To guarantee oversight and spending transparency, H.R. 349 would require the IRS to deposit all fee payments into the Treasury. According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Budget Options report, such a requirement would result in a $895 million savings over the first five years. Congressman James Sensenbrenner's (WI-5) measure, as CBO explains, would better fit the agency's mission of collecting taxes, an activity for which the IRS already receive tax dollars.
The Bill: H.R. 1519/S. 797, Paycheck Fairness Act
Annualized Cost: $3 million ($15 million over five years)
Number of Cosponsors: 167 Congressmen and 27 Senators
In a follow-up to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD) introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act to address sexual-discrimination in the workplace.
The bill would put in place enhanced requirements for equal pay as well as institute a training program for girls and women to learn salary negotiation skills. An award for workplace equality would also be established to recognize businesses and associations proactively complying with equality rules. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics would compile more detailed information on pay based on sex, race, and national origin of employees.
According to the bill, the federal government would spend $15 million over the first five years if the Paycheck Fairness Act was enacted. New costs would result from collecting more workplace data on compliance and survey studies.
Cosponsors include 167 Democrats in the House and 27 Senators who caucus with the Democratic Party.
Similar legislation was introduced in the 111th Congress. That bill was covered in the Taxpayer's Tab Volume 1 Issue 23.
Foundation Associate Policy Analyst Program
NTUF is looking for 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 email@example.com. To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!