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Taxpayer's Tab Issue #27

August 18, 2011




Vol. 2 Issue 27 August 18, 2011


NTUF Analysis: "Super Committee" Lawmakers Start Far Apart on Spending Reduction Ideas

The 12-member Congressional "Super Committee" charged with cutting $1.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade has been announced. An analysis by NTUF shows just how different their views are on spending programs. An examination of NTUF's BillTally data for each of the 12 panel members highlights individual legislative agendas whose impact on the budget would vary widely, from an annual cut in federal expenditures of just over $85 billion to a yearly increase of more than $1.15 trillion.

"Based on the legislative turf that each of them has staked out so far, lawmakers on the Super Committee will not be approaching the task of cutting spending on a vast plot of common ground," said NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady.

Among NTUF's findings is that Super Committee appointees sponsored or cosponsored 18 non-overlapping bills whose gross savings (not accounting for any spending-increase bills they supported) added up to $89.6 billion a year. None of these 18 pieces of legislation have bipartisan support among the Super Committee Members, but three of those proposals have been introduced in both chambers and have the backing of GOP Senators and Representatives on the panel. The savings of these three "common bills" are estimated at $41.3 billion total.

You can read the full release here.

For more information on the National Taxpayers Union Foundation or the BillTally Project, check out our website and methodology.

Most Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 2000, Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act

Annualized Cost: $2.057 billion ($10.286 billion over five years)

The SAVE Act would bolster immigration enforcement through a three-pronged approach. Along the border, H.R. 2000 authorizes the hiring and training of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents over the next five years. The bill would also fund the purchase of more staff vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other surveillance technologies.

Within the United States, the bill introduced by Congressman Heath Shuler (NC-11) would authorize 70 new law enforcement officers who would operate on federal lands and in Department of Interior jurisdictions. A new border relief grant program would authorize $200 million per year for law and drug enforcement operations to help alleviate costs for local police financially affected by illegal immigration. Up to 20 additional immigration judgeships would be created and more law clerks would be employed for those new courts. An increased number of illegal alien detention facilities would be built to house an extra 8,000 offenders.

For businesses, the bill attempts to curb the employment of illegal immigrants by mandating the use of E-Verify while making the program permanent. Currently a voluntary program, E-Verify allows employers to check the legal status of their employees. The SAVE Act would also establish a birth and death registration system, which would be maintained by the Social Security Administration.

The cost estimate for H.R. 2000 is based on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on a version of the bill introduced in the 110th Congress. H.R. 2000 would result in more than $10 billion in new federal spending over the next five years. New verification costs constitute the most significant bulk of the new spending.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit


Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 2114, Reducing the Size of the Federal Government Through Attrition Act of 2011

Annualized Savings: -$12.75 billion (-$63.75 billion over five years)

Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49) introduced H.R. 2114, to reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent. The bill puts a system of attrition in place that would only allow agencies and departments to hire one new employee for every three retiring or departing workers. Approximately 400,000 federal employees are eligible for retirement.

According to a press release from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, H.R. 2114 would save taxpayers $127.5 billion over ten years.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit


Most Friended

The Bill: H.R. 2152/S. 1086, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act

Annualized Cost: $25 million (first-year cost)

Number of Cosponsors: 41 Congressmen and one Senator

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act would award grants to the Special Olympics -- a group which organizes the national athletic competition for disabled individuals -- for promoting expansion, increased international participation, and improved health of disabled athletes. This measure would both reauthorize and modify how the government currently supports the group's activities. In conjunction with sporting event, the bill would fund the establishment of institutes, which would research how best to improve the lives of disabled people.

One part of the Special Olympics is the Best Buddies program. As a not-for-profit entity, they provide for "one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities." H.R. 2152 would authorize federal dollars to expand the number of Best Buddies participants, however, the bill limits funding from direct treatment of diseases or medical conditions of those in the program.

The Act sponsored by Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5) and Senator Tom Harkin (IA) would authorize $25 million in new spending in the first year. The federal government is currently spending approximately $8 million in supporting Best Buddies and the Special Olympics.

Cosponsors include 40 Democrats and one Republican in the House. S. 1086 currently has one cosponsor, Senator Roy Blunt (MO), who is a Republican.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit


Support NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is able to produce timely reports and analysis for policymakers and taxpayers with the help and support of foundations, small businesses, and Americans who wish to stay informed of their government's spending. With donations from Tab subscribers and members, NTUF will be able to continue to simplify important entitlement reform plans, examine budgets, and score legislation. Please consider making a tax-free contribution to NTUF.




With the new partnership with, The Taxpayer's Tab will also be changing to help you keep an eye on Congress. To give your own input, opinions, and research, click on the icon.

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The Wildcard

The Bill: H.R. 1879/S. 980, United States Ferry Systems Investment Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: $205 million ($1.025 billion over five years)





To help modernize the nation's ferry boat infrastrucutre, Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-2) and Senator Patty Murray (WA) have introduced H.R. 1879 and S. 980. The bills would fund the construction of new ferry boats and facilities. Funding would be based on the size and number of passengers. A National Ferry Transportation Institute would also be established to research and plan for improving ferry systems. Another office, a Department of Transportation joint program office, would coordinate government resources in remaking ferry systems.

According to text of the bill, the United States Ferry Systems Investment Act would authorize $205 million in new federal spending each year. Although this would be a national program, Washington State operates the largest ferry system in the country and would likely receive a significant portion of the funding.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit

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We Want You!

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 To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!


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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