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Issue Brief


Virginia U.S. Senatorial Candidate Spending Analysis – Tim Kaine

September 11, 2012






Virginia U.S. Senatorial Candidate Spending Analysis – Tim Kaine

Total Net Spending Agenda: $1.28 billion

 

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: $302 million

A. Create an Infrastructure Bank:

“I will support the creation of an Infrastructure Bank to combine public and private resources to complete necessary projects.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 6)

Cost: $302 million ($1.51 billion over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1549 (112th Congress), 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. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is available.

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

B. Reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

“As Senator, I will carefully reassess the federal government’s critical role in housing finance. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, at their best, have played an important role in holding down financing costs both in the single-family and multi-family markets. It is important to reform and depoliticize these institutions so they can continue this important function.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 9)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 170 (112th Congress), the Helping Responsible Homeowners Act. The bill would provide for refinancing of mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A cost estimate is currently not available.

C. Support Export Businesses:

“The Federal Export-Import Bank doesn’t prioritize assistance to small businesses – only $6 billion of the agency’s $33 billion budget went to small businesses in 2011. As Senator, I will work to increase the aid that small businesses receive.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 8)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear whether Governor Kaine would shift funding within the Export-Import Bank’s current budget or if he would increase its overall budget in order to provide assistance to small businesses.

Education, Science, and Research: $641 million

A. Create a School District Review Commission:

“As Senator, I will lead the creation of an independent commission of stakeholders, including teachers, to create a report card of all state school systems every three years on a variety of outcomes…” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 11)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: NTUF is unable to estimate possible costs due to the lack of specificity in Governor Kaine’s proposal. A commission of similar makeup and scope would be established under S. 622 (112th Congress), the Commission of Effective Regulation and Assessment Systems for Public Schools Act. However, the commission in S. 622 would make recommendations on how to align and improve regulations with local school districts. A cost estimate is currently not available.

 

B. Foster Educational Partnerships:

“I will also work to foster skills partnerships between community colleges, school systems, career and technical programs, workforce boards, and employers to create programs that meet the needs to local areas.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 14)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 4227 (112th Congress), the Workforce Investment Act of 2012. Parts of the bill would award competitive grants to state or local organizations that partner with education and employment entities for the purpose of employing graduates and current students. The program would provide $7 billion for community colleges to develop workforce training programs in partnership with local businesses and other key stakeholders. 
http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Advocacy/AdvocacyNews/Pages/041220121.aspx

 

C. Fully Fund Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs:

“I will support full funding of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which will make sure students have the chance to attend high-quality CTE programs and are prepared for successful careers.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 12)

Cost: $141 million ($1.126 billion over five years).

Source: A coalition of education associations has argued that, “Prior to FY 2011, Perkins funding had remained stagnant for a number of years. Today, the Perkins program is $140 million below FY 2010 levels, and this reduction occurs while demand for CTE continues to increase.” This estimate assumes that Governor Kaine would restore funding to 2010 levels. The Department of Education spent $1.272 billion on CTE programs in FY 2010 and spent $1.131 billion in FY 2012.

Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2013, Appendix, page 386. Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2013, Appendix, page 353.

http://www.careertech.org/file_download/60521d8b-2c9e-453a-80cd-19432d82c12d http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/edu.pdf

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2012-APP/pdf/BUDGET-2012-APP-1-9.pdf

 

D. Increase Access to Higher Education:

“As Senator, I will work to increase access to higher education and preserve programs that increase the affordability of higher education, like the Pell Grant program.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 13)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation was introduced in the form of S. 1129 (111th Congress), the Pathways to College Act. The bill would award grants to local educational agencies to improve college enrollment. A cost estimate is currently not available.

 

E. Provide More Professional Development for Teachers:

“As Senator, I will ensure teachers have access to the professional development and certification programs that will provide them with the tools and support to meet daily challenges. I will support programs such as the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that allow teachers to continually improve their skills.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 12)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: The Obama Administration’s FY 2012 budget proposal would have “eliminate[d] federal funding for growing the nation’s 91,000-strong National Board Certified Teacher corps.” It is unclear how Governor Kaine would change federal support for teacher development.

http://www.nbpts.org/about_us/news_media/press_releases?ID=750

 

F. Reform No Child Left Behind:

“As Senator, I would push for [No Child Left Behind Act] revisions that focus more on finding and enhancing each child’s excellence, with more individual attention than a traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. The federal government should support these curricular innovations financially rather than make them top-down, unfunded federal mandates. And, we should create a vigorous culture of local experimentation.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 11)

Cost: $500 million (first-year cost) (partial estimate).

Source:

  • Local Approach: Unknown. Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 280 (112th Congress), the No Child Left Behind Flexibility and Improvement Act. The bill would allow for more local discretion to modify Adequate Yearly Progress. A cost estimate is currently not available.
  • Unfunded Mandates: $500 million (first-year cost). Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, state education agencies are required to administer statewide tests that are customized to their standards. Budget agencies regard the cost of implementing the tests and making changes to existing measures as mandates borne by the states and not the federal government. In 2003, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated the states would spend between $1.9 and $5.3 billion to comply with the federal requirements. Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 895 (112th Congress), the Investing in Innovation for Education Act of 2011. The bill would provide federal funding for educational activities and strategies to increase academic achievement and teacher effectiveness. The text of the bill authorizes the new spending.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03389.pdf

 

Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: $120 million

A. Expand Domestic Energy Production:

“As Senator, I will support continued strategic efforts to expand domestic energy production.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 7)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear whether the policy stance expressed by Governor Kaine would affect federal spending.

 

B. Invest in Clean Energy Technologies:

“We should invest … into promoting research and development of clean energy and smart grid technologies that will reduce pollutants and create jobs for American innovators and workers.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 7)

Cost: $120 million ($600 million over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 3389 (112th Congress), the Consortia-Led Energy Advancement Networks (CLEAN) Act. The bill would award grants to encourage the development and sale of more efficient technology powered by alternative sources. The spending is authorized in the text of the bill.

 

C. Support Offshore Drilling:

“I support passage of the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act…” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 7)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 1331 (112th

 Congress), the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2011. The bill would require the sale of leases off the coast of Virginia for the purposes of oil and gas extraction. According to the text of S. 1331, 50 percent of offsetting receipts, which budget agencies classify as negative outlays, would be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury. Half of the remaining amounts would go to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the rest would be dedicated towards infrastructure, energy, and conservation spending in Virginia. A cost estimate is currently not available. There are several factors that would affect the amount of negative outlays, including the number of permits made available and the price of oil.

 

Government Reform: Unknown

A. Create a Public Management System:

“As Senator, I will work to create a publicly accessible management system for the federal government – modeled on the Virginia Performs management tool – that makes sure we are getting every dollar of value out of our tax investments in each public program.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 17)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: The Virginia Performs system is a management decision-making model and is designed to improve and communicate the results of government services. It is unclear what affects the Virginia Performs system would have on the federal government.

Pertaining to potential costs of increased budgetary transparency, S. 1957 (112th Congress), the Taxpayers Right to Know Act, would establish new reporting requirements for federal agencies, efforts, and projects and set up a new system for making that information available (including performance data) to the public. A CBO analysis for its companion, H.R. 3609, is available. CBO estimates that the new reporting requirement would result in a $100 million cost over five years.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr3609.pdf

 

B. Make Lobbying and Procurements More Transparent:

“I will work to make sure federal procurement practices are fully transparent and open so small and start-up businesses have complete information about how to compete for federal contracts. … As Senator, I will support a simple reform that requires full transparency of any contribution to affect either legislative advocacy or federal electoral activity with uniform contribution limits.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 4, 19)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 2340 (112th Congress), the Transparency in Government Act of 2011. The bill would increase access to certain government entities and require greater disclosure in federal contracting and lobbying. A cost estimate is currently not available.

 

C. Federal Workforce Development Reform:

“…[T]he absence of a single, accountable public official charged with workforce programs makes it difficult to achieve the best outcomes. As Senator, I will work to restructure the federal effort to promote simplicity, transparency and clear accountability [in federal workforce development programs]. There is a disconnect between the skills taught and the needs of employers. We need reforms to better align planning and spending with the needs of tomorrow’s workforce.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 14)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 4227 (112th Congress), the Workforce Investment Act of 2012. Parts of the bill would establish performance accountability measures to assess the effectiveness of workforce programs in achieving positive outcomes. The bill also requires performance measures to be established for the Job Corps program, which would assist eligible youth to gain employment by providing education opportunities.
http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Advocacy/AdvocacyNews/Pages/041220121.aspx

 

Health Care: Unknown.

A. Allow for Prescription Drug Price Negotiation:

“I will support efforts to allow the government to negotiate Medicare prescription drug prices. This action could have as much as $24 billion annually.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 8)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 2296 (112th Congress), the America Rx Act of 2011. The bill would establish a program to provide patients with prescription drugs at discounted prices. A cost estimate is currently not available.

A March 3, 2004 CBO letter to Senator Ron Wyden notes: “CBO has not estimated the effect on federal spending of authorizing the Secretary to negotiate prices for single-source drugs. The extent of any savings would depend significantly on the details of legislative language; a proposal that applied to a broader range of drugs could generate no savings or even increase federal costs. The effect on federal spending would also depend on how the Secretary would choose to exercise any new authority to negotiate prices.”

 

B. Fight Medicaid and Medicare Waste:

“We must reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid, which totaled $70 billion in 2010. By improving data sharing technology and giving incentives to insurance companies to identify fraud, we can further cut costs.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 8)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is possible that efforts to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the health care system would result in significant savings. Based on the information available, NTUF is unable to estimate the level of resources that Governor Kaine would dedicate to fighting waste, fraud, and abuse; nor is NTUF able to determine with a reasonable degree of precision what level of savings those investments might generate or over what period of time those savings would begin to appear.

 

C. Reduce Health Care Administrative Costs:

“As Senator, I will work to continue to squeeze out the unacceptably high costs in the health care system by cutting back on administrative spending, which costs the U.S. approximately $360 billion each year. Steps such as requiring electronic eligibility, claims processing, and payment can save as much as $40 billion annually.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 8)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Title I Section 1104 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (111th Congress), signed into law on March 23, 2010, requires administrative simplification through Medicaid and subsidies for the state health exchanges, which CBO estimated would save a combined $5.2 billion over the FY 2013-2017 period. It is unclear how Governor Kaine would change or expand these policies.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/107xx/doc10731/reid_letter_11_18_09.pdf

 

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $50 million

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

“I support the DREAM Act…” http://www.kaineforva.com/immigration

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.

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

 

B. Secure the Border:

“I also believe that we must have a strong and secure border.” http://www.kaineforva.com/immigration

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear what Governor Kaine would propose to further secure the border.

For example, a 2009 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) lists the target length of the southern border fence to be 661 miles. A January 2012 update from Customs and Border Protection states that the agency has overseen the construction of 651 miles of pedestrian and vehicle fencing. Vehicle fencing was completed in January 2010. The last mile of pedestrian fencing was to be completed by April of this year. It is unclear whether Governor Kaine would expand the fence to reach the initial target of 661 miles or extend it further along the 1,993-mile border. Costs would vary depending upon the type of fencing to be used. According to the GAO report, fencing completed by October 2008 cost an average of $3.9 million per mile for pedestrian fencing and $1.0 million per mile for vehicle fencing. The report further notes, “However, once contracts were awarded, the average per mile costs had increased to $6.5 million per mile for pedestrian fencing and $1.8 million per mile for vehicle fencing. Tactical infrastructure program officials said the per mile costs increased over time due to various factors, such as property acquisition costs incurred for these miles that were not a factor for many of the previous miles and costs for labor and materials increased.”

Source: GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Technology Deployment Delays Persist and the Impact of Border Fencing Has Not Been Assessed, September 2009.

http://www.gao.gov/assets/300/294982.pdf

United States Department of Homeland Security, “Southwest Border Fence Construction Progress,” January 2012.

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/ti/ti_news/sbi_fence/

 

C. Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

“As Senator, I will support immigration reform that encourages individuals of talent and persistence to grow opportunities here rather than take their skills and leave the country.”

“Individuals who broke the law by entering this country illegally should face consequences, including a financial penalty that can be applied to increasing our border security, but we must also ensure that our reforms serve the goal of making America a magnet for global talent and the jobs that come with it.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 15)

“I support comprehensive immigration reform.”

“… [W]e must require the millions of undocumented persons in the United States to admit to a violation of immigration laws and pay an appropriate penalty. Only in the event of full acceptance of responsibility and payment of appropriate fines would we allow individuals to seek lawful adjustment of their immigration status.”

http://www.kaineforva.com/immigration

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation was introduced in the form of S. 2611 (109th Congress), the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. The bill would have created a temporary worker program. CBO estimated that the bill would have increased mandatory spending for federal benefit programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, and Food Stamps by $12.9 billion over five years. In addition, enforcement and border security provisions would have cost $25.2 billion over five years. The bill was introduced in the 112th Congress in the form of S. 1258. It is unclear to what degree Governor Kaine’s plan would reflect the provisions of S. 2611.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/72xx/doc7208/s2611.pdf

 

National Security and International Relations: Unknown.

A. Research Military Technology to Reduce Personnel Needs:

“In defense, we need to examine a Cold War-era base structure that still has tens of thousands of American troops in Europe, more positioned to fight past wars than to handle security challenges to today and tomorrow. Just as the new Ford Class aircraft carriers being built at the shipyard in Newport News will operate with fewer sailors due to technology advances, we need to look at wise technology investments that will reduce personnel needs.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 17)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear how Governor Kaine would change current spending for military research and development of technology that will lead to lower personnel demands.

 

Veterans: $167 million

A. Establish Transferable Credentials for Service members:

“As Senator, I will work with the Department of Defense to establish a basic protocol so that active duty military members receive meaningful and transferable civilian credentials and certifications for skills that they obtain during service. I will also work to educate civilian employers about the skills that veterans bring into the workplace and model the right behavior by hiring veterans in my own office.” http://www.kaineforva.com/uploads/A_Vision_for_Our_Economic_Future.pdf (page 15)

Cost: $167 million ($835 million over five years).

Note: Related legislation was introduced in the form of S. 3429 (112th Congress), the Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012.The bill establishes a jobs corps to employ veterans in certain fields. The bill authorizes $1 billion over six fiscal years. It would also require that states that are the recipients of certain federal grants or contracts to train or hire veterans must take into account any training a veteran received while in the service. This could result in additional administrative costs to the Department of Labor.

http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/congress/20120621_Moran.htm

 

Miscellaneous: Unknown.

A. Support Background Checks for Gun Purchases:

“I believe we need to do background records checks when guns are purchased at gun shows… ”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xNpxRN-aRk&feature=relmfu (8:00)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 35 (112th Congress), the Gun Show Background Check Act of 2011. The bill would establish background check procedures for gun shows. A cost estimate is currently not available. It is unclear whether the bill’s enactment would result in increased administrative costs for the federal government.