Florida U.S. Senate Candidate Spending Analysis – Charlie Crist


Total Net Spending Agenda: $3.476 billion

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: Unknown

A. Jobs:

“Governor Crist supports public-private partnerships to encourage Floridians in their job search.”

            Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1777 and its companion, S. 777 (111th Congress), the Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success Act of 2009. The bill’s official description notes that it is intended to promote industry growth and competitiveness and to improve worker training, retention, and advancement, and for other purposes. The House of Representatives approved the bill, but a cost estimate remains unavailable.

Education, Science, and Research: $609 million

A. Education:

“Charlie Crist will be a U.S. Senator who will fight to bring accountability to our nation’s public schools. […] A system that provides accountability of students and teachers. A system that provides school choice to families across America regardless of socio-economic background. A fair and equitable system that rewards quality teachers through merit based pay.”

Cost: $609 million (first-year cost).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 2790 (111th  Congress), the Standards to Provide Educational Achievement for Kids Act, a bill to create or adopt, and implement, rigorous and voluntary American education content standards in mathematics and science covering kindergarten through grade 12, to provide for the assessment of student proficiency benchmarked against such standards, and for other purposes. The text authorizes $609 million in the first year and such sums as necessary for each succeeding year to provide incentives to states to align their teacher certification and professional development requirements to such standards, and to successful grantees for the enhancement of their student performance data systems.

Note: Federal law mandates that students have the option to transfer to another public school if the student’s assigned school fails to meet annual yearly progress. Several bills in the 111th Congress make reforms to that option. The remaining bills concerning school choice aimed at restoring the DC Opportunity Scholarship program. The program is currently being funded through a continuing resolution at $12 million and is not allowed to award new scholarships; the funding is only available for existing participants. At its height of funding, in Fiscal Year 2008, the program received $15 million.

Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: $2.837 billion

A. Energy:

“… Charlie Crist’s leadership toward a clean and secure energy future will help unleash America’s ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. By promoting policies that reduce taxpayer’s [sic] electric and transportation fuel bills through energy efficiency, reduce dependence on foreign oil by increasing renewable and clean domestic energy production – solar, wind, wave, biofuels, nuclear – millions of jobs will be created and America’s energy future will be clean and secure.”

Cost: $2.837 billion ($14.187 billion over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced S. 1462 (111th Congress), the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009, a bill to promote clean energy technology development, enhanced energy efficiency, improved energy security, and energy innovation and workforce development, and for other purposes. The bill increases funding for a variety of energy-related programs administered by the Department of Energy and other agencies by $13.327 billion over five years – excluding $900 million in offsetting receipts that would be raised by opening up areas offshore of Florida to oil leasing (see Item D below). Governor Crist is opposed to offshore oil drilling in Florida. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is available. NTUF calculated baseline spending for the programs in CBO’s estimate based on budget data.

Additional related legislation was introduced in the form of H.R. 4907 (111th Congress), the Energy Innovation Hubs Authorization Act of 2010. The bill provides grants for advanced energy research including an innovative technology that produces energy from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, tidal, wave, ocean, or other renewable energy resources; that produces nuclear energy; for carbon capture and sequestration; or that generates, transmits, distributes, utilizes, or stores energy more efficiently than conventional technologies. The text authorizes $860 million over five years.

B. Everglades:

“Charlie Crist will fight for the federal funds necessary to continue the federal-state partnership under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) passed in 2000.”

Cost: Unknown.

Note: During the 110th Congress, H.R. 1495, the Water Resources Development Act, which became law, included a $683 million project along the Indian River in the Everglades. It is uncertain whether, or how much, additional funding would be required to continue the CERP.

C. National Parks:

“The beauty of America is its national parks. Following the model of Teddy Roosevelt, Charlie Crist will support the efforts to preserve and conserve our national resources and treasures.”

Cost: Unknown.

D. Offshore Oil Drilling:

“We need to stop offshore oil drilling in Florida.”

Cost: (See Item A above).

Note: Stopping offshore oil drilling would decrease offsetting receipts paid to the Treasury.

Health Care: Unknown

A. Health Care:

“The American people need a health care system modeled on one that actually works, one that provides choice and access to quality health care at affordable costs. To those ends, Governor Crist has led the way in providing free market health care solutions when he proposed and signed into law Cover Florida. The Cover Florida Health Care plan provides uninsured Floridians with 27 health care options that best meet their needs. These private health insurance plans offer a wide array of health care benefits depending on age and medical needs. … As Florida’s next U.S. Senator, he will take this common-sense, free market approach to Washington.”

Cost: Unknown.

Note: According to, Cover Florida “allows people without coverage for at least six months to pick from plans offered by six insurance companies. The state selected each provider through a competitive bidding process. The provider offers at least two options — one with catastrophic and hospital coverage, and another plan that can provide less coverage.”

B. Repeal and Replace Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

“Repeal must be accompanied by a responsible substitute – repeal without passage of a substitute law protecting those with pre-existing conditions, closing the prescription drug donut hole for seniors, and allowing parents to keep their children on their insurance coverage until age 26 would be wrong.”

Cost: Unknown.

Note: CBO did not complete a comprehensive analysis of all the spending resulting from passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148). Among the known costs, including the changes in direct spending listed in a March 11, 2010 CBO letter, and the specified and certain estimated authorizations and implementation costs in a CBO letter on May 11, 2010, the law could increase spending by $88.679 billion over the FY 2011 to FY 2015 period. The bill also included unspecified spending authority that CBO has not estimated. The cost of the complete package that Governor Crist would support is unknown.

CBO estimated that closing the so-called Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” would cost $3.8 billion over five years.

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: Unknown

A. Immigration Reform:

“Report after report says that [Social Security] is solvent until 2037 or 2041. … I’ve … offered a plan that can help it that is supported by Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor previously, in a previous administration. And it’s straightforward and simple. There are [11 to 14 million people] … that are not American citizens today, that are not participating in the American economy. If we can find a pathway to earn citizenship for those 11 to 14 million people, they would be paying into the system, and when 2037 or 2041 comes, if in fact Social Security is still being challenged, we have another way and another opportunity that provides jobs, in a legal sense, and is compassionate to immigrants who come to our country.”

Cost: Unknown.

Note: S. 2611 (109th Congress), the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, would have created a process for long-time illegal aliens to gain citizenship, and it would have created a temporary worker program. CBO estimates 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. NTUF is uncertain as to what degree Governor Crist’s plan would reflect the provisions of S. 2611.

National Defense and International Relations: Unknown

A. National Defense:

“As Florida’s next U.S. Senator, Charlie Crist will support our military men and women as they provide for a strong national defense. … Charlie Crist will fight to give the men and women in uniform the proper resources, equipment and training needed to defend our nation both at home and abroad.”   

Cost: Unknown.

B. National Defense in Florida:

“Charlie Crist will do everything in his power to make sure the U.S. military remains an integral part of the Florida landscape.”

Cost: Unknown.

Note: This proposal may be an attempt to prevent savings proposals initiated by the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

Miscellaneous: $30 million

A. Seniors:

“ … [H]e continues to fight to secure the safety and affordability of health care, to protect seniors from fraud, and to create opportunities for seniors to live active and enriched lives.”

Cost: $30 million ($150 million over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 5884 and S. 3494 (111th Congress), the Senior Financial Empowerment Act of 2010, to prevent mail, telemarketing, and Internet fraud targeting seniors in the United States, to promote efforts to increase public awareness of the enormous impact that mail, telemarketing, and Internet fraud have on seniors, to educate the public, seniors, their families, and their caregivers about how to identify and combat fraudulent activity, and for other purposes. The text authorizes $30 million per year.

Note: No legislation in the 111th Congress deals specifically with prosecution of fraud against seniors. H.R. 1748, the Fight Fraud Act of 2009, would authorize funding to investigate financial fraud across all demographic groups. CBO estimates the bill would cost $805 million over five years.≅=111