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Taxpayers Tab


Taxpayer's Tab Issue #12

June 8, 2012

 

 

 

Vol. 3 Issue 12 June 8, 2012

 

new_congressWelcome to The Taxpayer's Tab -- the weekly newsletter for up-to-the-minute research from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's BillTally Project. For more information, check out NTUF's BillTally project and our partner, WashingtonWatch.com!


Most Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 3989, Student Success Act

Annualized Cost: $694 million ($3.5 billion over five years)

The Student Success Act would reauthorize and change certain programs under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Title I provides financial assistance to school districts that have a high percentage of low-income students. The Student Success Act would increase spending over the next five years to try to improve the academic achievement of at-risk youth, rural students, and children on Native American reservations. Efforts to help educate the children of migrant workers would also be expanded.

Enacted in 1965, ESEA serves as the central piece of education policy for the federal government. Its six titles range from bilingual education programming to defining what learning materials should be used in the classroom. ESEA has been amended a number of times. The most recent of these overhauls was the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, which included an Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirement. AYP requires that states measure each public school's achievement on standardized tests with the goal of having all students meet certain standards in reading and mathematics by 2014.

H.R. 3989 would also eliminate the AYP measurement. Congressman John Kline (R-MN), who sponsored H.R. 3989, said the Act "will eliminate Adequate Yearly Progress -- an outdated federal metric that fails to provide meaningful feedback to parents and schools -- and instead direct states to establish unique accountability systems with tailored academic standards, assessments, and school improvement strategies."

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Student Success Act would increase spending by $3.5 billion over the FY 2013-2017 period. In FY 2012, $16.5 billion was spent on Title I education programs for low-income students.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.


Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: S. 2104, Water Resources Research Amendments Act of 2012

Annualized Savings: $8 million (first-year savings)

The National Research Program, a division of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), conducts research on the problems facing the nation's water ways and water supply. The office also studies complex hydrological processes. This research, as well as the work of USGS and other agencies, is released in the form of academic papers and reports.

Introduced by Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), S. 2104 would change the way the National Research Program is evaluated. Every five years, the program would be required to assess the quality and relevance of its research and then determine whether the research warrants continued government funding.

As outlined in the bill, funding would fall relative to FY 2013 levels. According to Senator Cardin, S. 2104 "reflects our efforts to adjust for present fiscal limitations" by reducing the appropriation levels by a total of $8 million in FY 2013. Currently, the water programs are authorized to spend $18 million each year.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.


Most Friended

The Bill: H.R. 2250/S. 1392, EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: "No Cost" -- Affects the Budget Less Than $1 Million

Number of Cosponsors: 126 Congressmen and 41 Senators

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal entity charged with ensuring that the nation's air and water are safe. They impose emissions and dumping quotas through regulations and by consulting with state environmental agencies. Businesses and individuals are required to follow these rules or face legal action and fines. All of the EPA's regulatory powers are granted to the agency through acts of Congress but the regulations themselves are written by EPA officials and do not require approval by elected officials.

One such regulation is called Boiler MACT, short for Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology. Depending on the classification of industrial boilers or process heaters, Boiler MACT would limit businesses and individuals from producing more emissions that may be harmful to the environment. The wide-reaching regulation -- affecting more than 200,000 boilers across the country -- was put into effect in 2010 but was later suspended for certain boilers and solid waste incinerators.

To give the EPA more time to rewrite the rules associated with Boiler MACT, Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) proposed the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. The bill would prevent the EPA from implementing regulations on industrial boilers, process heaters, and incinerators until the rules can be agreed upon. The agency would be granted at least a 15 month extension to re-propose the Boiler MACT rules. A legislative stay would also grant businesses two additional years (a total of five) to comply with the regulations.

In a statement released by his office, Congressman Griffith said "according to the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners, capital costs of the [Boiler MACT] rules are estimated to exceed $14 billion and potentially put more than 200,000 jobs at risk. The goal of the EPA Regulatory Relief Act is straightforward -- give the EPA the time they need to get the rules right while protecting jobs."

Since H.R. 2250 and S. 1392 extend EPA's deadline for determining a final rule and do not authorize any additional spending, the bill is counted as "no cost" under BillTally's scorekeeping rules. It is unclear whether the extension would result in additional administrative costs or not. NTUF assumes that these costs, if any, would not exceed $1 million, which is BillTally's scorekeeping threshold.

Cosponsors include 24 Democrats and 102 Republicans in the House. In the Senate, 12 Democratic and 29 Republican Senators currently support S. 1392.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.


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 -- like you -- who wish to stay informed of their government's spending.

With donations from Tab subscribers and members, NTUF will be able to continue to inform taxpayers about entitlement reform, the federal budgets, and proposed legislation.

Please consider making a tax-deductable contribution to NTUF.


 

The Wildcard

The Bill: S. 2515, Clean Cookstoves Support Act of 2012

Annualized Cost: $11 million ($56 million over five years)

 

 

 

 

 

Many citizens of developing nations often use open fire and antiquated stoves -- fueled by whatever fuel is available -- for cooking and sanitation. The soot and smoke produced by the fires put more pollutants in the air than stoves and fuels used widely in more developed countries. The fumes disproportionately affect women and children who work around the stoves, and many are also concerned about the wider environmental and health impacts. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), along with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), introduced S. 2515 to decrease the environmental degradation associated with the primitive stoves and the negative health effects of the stoves’ smoke. The bill mirrors the efforts of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

The Clean Cookstoves Support Act calls for federal research and development to create a market where cook stoves are affordable for people in developing nations and where companies build stoves according to a global standard. The federal government would work with other nations to foster the creation of a commercial market for clean stoves. The ultimate goal is to provide 100 million households with clean cook stoves by 2020. Stoves would be sold as well as given to people in refugee camps, during disaster relief, and as part of long-term development projects.

If enacted, S. 2515 would increase spending by $56 million over the next five years.

To learn more or discuss this bill visit WashingtonWatch.com.


Save the Date!

NTUF is hosting a birthday party in Alexandria, Virginia, to commemorate the late economist Milton Friedman on July 31st. More details to come!

Missed an Issue?

Issue 11 - May 31
Tariff & Duties Suspension Spotlight Edition

Issue 10 - May 11
Pension Reform Spotlight Edition

Special Edition - Apr 6
GOP Presidential Candidates Spending Studies

Issue 8 - Feb 28
Domestic Energy Spotlight Edition

Issue 7 - Feb 15
FY 2013 Budget Proposal Analysis



 We Want You!

NTUF is looking for fall and winter 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 ntuf@ntu.org. 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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