New Hampshire Senate Candidate Agenda Analysis: Incumbent Senator Kelly Ayotte

by Demian Brady, Andrew Wilford / /

New Hampshire U.S. Senatorial Candidate Spending Analysis

Kelly Ayotte

Net Spending per Year: -$59.7 billion


Economy, Transportation, & Infrastructure

Equal Pay: “Kelly … supports a fairer workplace for everyone. ... [I]t’s why she’s leading common sense efforts to ensure women and men receive equal pay for equal work.”

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: Ayotte is a sponsor of S. 2070, the Gender Advancement in Pay Act, which prevents employers from discriminating on the basis of gender if business-related factors are not the cause (such as education, training and experience). The bill would also authorize the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to provide assistance to small businesses for compliance with the provisions. A cost estimate is currently unavailable.

Manufacturing Jobs: “[Ayotte] is working … to build a better climate for good paying, 21st century jobs, by boosting high-tech manufacturing … .” (source)

Cost per year: $130 million ($650 million over five years)

Notes: Related legislation has been introduced in Congress as S. 2779, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Improvement Act of 2016. The bill would reauthorize annual funding for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program at $260 million. In FY 2016, the MEP was funded at $130 million.

Manufacturing Skills: “Kelly is … working to prepare our kids for good paying jobs by improving ... manufacturing skills training.” (source)

Cost per year: $10 million ($30 million over three years)

Notes: Related legislation has been introduced as S.1542, the Manufacturing Skills Act of 2015. This legislation would create a grant program for states to create manufacturing educational programs.

Paid Leave - Earned Leave: “Kelly is fighting for ... empowering employers to offer flex-time so moms and dads can continue to work while taking care of their families.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: Ayotte is a sponsor of S. 803, the Family Friendly and Workplace Flexibility Act of 2015. The bill would authorize private employers to provide compensatory time off to employees when overtime is required. It is unclear whether there would be any costs related to the administration or enforcement of these provisions. A cost estimate is not currently available.

Regulation: “[An] important part of supporting small business owners in New Hampshire is making sure that Washington regulations aren’t burdening Main Street.” (source)

Cost per year: $11 million ($55 million over five years)

Notes: Ayotte is a sponsor of S. 426, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, which would require agencies to perform additional analysis of regulations that affect small businesses. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the House companion version of the bill would cost $55 million over five years.

Ayotte is also a cosponsor of S. 226, the REINS Act , which would require major rules to be approved by Congress before going into effect. To the extent that major rules are blocked, there could be reduced enforcement costs for the agency or department that issued the regulation. However, the Congressional Budget Office was unable to estimate its budgetary impact.

Small Businesses: “We can support a climate of growth if we improve access to capital.” (source)

Cost per Year: $33 million ($166 million over five years)

Notes: Ayotte is a sponsor of S. 2812, the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization and Improvement Act of 2016, to permanently reauthorize and expand the Small Business Technology Transfer Program and Small Business Innovation Research programs. In addition, the legislation would establish a new federal and state small business technology fund as well as create  a new regional collaborative pilot program. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the proposal would cost $166 million over five years.


Education, Science and Research

Childcare: “Kelly is fighting for ... expanding access to affordable childcare … .” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: Ayotte is a sponsor of proposals such as S. 215 and S. 2879 to increase tax credits for child and dependent care. These would not affect federal spending. She is also a cosponsor of S. 3091, the EMPOWER Act of 2016, to reauthorize funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The bill also includes sections related to the provision of childcare, but a cost estimate is currently unavailable.

College Costs: “[Ayotte] is pushing to make college more affordable, both by reforming student loans and by making it easier for parents to save for their kids’ college education.” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: Ayotte is a sponsor of S. 2099, the Student Loan Relief Act, which would require the Department of the Treasury to create a temporary program to assist students with student loan refinancing. A cost estimate is unavailable. In addition, Ayotte has sponsored legislation to modify the tax treatment of college savings plans, which would reduce revenues to the Treasury but would have no impact on federal spending.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: “One of my main goals is to continue to push for measures that are aimed at improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education…” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: STEM programs received $120 million in FY 2016. It is unclear what additional level of funding Ayotte would support.


Government Reform

Child Tax Credit Verification: “If we just required, when you file [a child tax credit form] to a put a Social Security Number for the child that you’re claiming, you save $20 billion.” (September 30 debate).

Cost per year: -$1.8 billion (-$5.929 billion over five years)

Notes: The Treasury Department did publish a report in 2011 showing that $21.6 billion in refundable child tax credit claims are “potentially erroneous.” An early version of H.R. 3630 in the 112th Congress would have required that filers have a Social Security number in order to be eligible for the Child Tax Credit (the provision was not included in amended versions of the legislation). The Congressional Budget Office determined this would reduce outlays by $5.929 billion over the first five years of implementation.

Tax Reform: “Kelly also backs a simpler, fairer tax code that lowers taxes for families and small businesses. Our tax code isn’t competitive, and reforming it will help incentivize companies to bring back trillions of dollars currently parked overseas and keep good jobs here at home.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: Simplifying the Tax Code could reduce enforcement and administrative costs, but the potential savings would depend on the details of the reform measures.



Affordable Care Act - Repeal: “Replacing the Failed Health Care Law[.] The Affordable Care Act is not so affordable. New reports suggest that premiums will go up by 25% on average nationwide, and New Hampshire families are seeing fewer health care choices and higher deductibles and copays. ... [W]e need to temporarily maintain Medicaid expansion while we figure out a better path forward, so that we’re not pulling the rug out from under anyone.”

Cost per Year: -$66.14 billion (-$330.7 billion over five years)

Notes: The Congressional Budget Office has yet to complete analysis of all of the spending related to President Obama’s signature health care law. A January 2016 CBO estimate of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) showed that direct spending would be reduced by $470.2 billion over five years, with the possibility of additional unreported discretionary savings. Ayotte would temporarily leave in place the expansion of Medicaid that was included in the ACA. This figure in conflated with other coverage provisions in the CBO estimate cited above. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated the ten year expansion would cost $667 billion  (FY 2014 the expansion cost $23.9 billion). NTUF applied the annual growth in total Medicaid spending to calculate an approximate annual cost of the Medicaid expansion at $27.9 billion over the next five years. It should be noted that the actual costs related to the ACA’s Medicaid expansion have significantly exceeded the estimates conducted by federal analysts.

Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research: “[Ayotte is]... making sure we devote more dollars to breast and ovarian cancer research.” (source)

Cost per year: $11 million ($32 million over three years)

Notes: Ayotte refers to S. 865 (113th Congress), Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act of 2013. The legislation would authorize $32 million in spending over three years, with unspecified funding levels for the following years. The bill was re-introduced with Ayotte as a co-sponsor in the current Congress as S. 746, authorizing the same level of funding to fight breast cancer. It is unclear what level of funding she would support for ovarian cancer research. The federal government currently spends $138 million on ovarian cancer research, with $118 million coming from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and $20 million coming from the Department of Defense (DOD) Ovarian Cancer Research Program.

Health Insurance Across State Lines: “Let’s finally allow competition across state lines among insurance companies.” (source)

Cost per year: $38 million ($191 million over five years)

Notes: Related legislation was introduced in Congress that would allow for the purchase of health insurance across state lines. Currently, a 1945 law permits the states to regulate health insurance plans within their borders; however, there is an exemption for certain large employers who are self-insured. The Congressional Budget Office conducted a cost estimate for H.R. 2355 (109th Congress), the Health Care Choice Act of 2005 which would provide for cooperative governing of individual insurance coverage offered in interstate commerce. At the time, CBO estimated that the bill would increase spending by $160 million over five years ($191 million adjusted for inflation). It is unclear whether this cost estimate would be higher or lower today since calculations were made prior to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Health Savings Accounts & Flexible Savings Accounts: “Let’s makes sure that we expand health savings and flexible spending accounts.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: A related, detailed proposal from the Center for Health and Economy (CHE) to replace the Affordable Care Act includes flexible savings accounts and health savings accounts. CHE’s plan would create a one-time $1,000 refundable credit for HSA enrollees. Refundable credits can be claimed regardless of a filer’s income tax liability, and as a result would increase federal spending. CHE estimated this reform’s total cost (revenue loss and outlays combined) would cost $70 billion over ten years. An outlay estimate is unavailable.

Mammograms: “[Ayotte] is fighting for more access to mammograms … .” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: Ayotte is a cosponsor of S. 370, Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act of 2015. This legislation would require greater information and regulation when it comes to breast cancer treatment. It is unclear if this legislation would require additional outlays.

Mental Health Training: “[I]mproving mental health training in schools … .” (source)

Cost per year: $20 million (first-year cost)

Notes: Ayotte refers to S.711, the Mental Health First Act of 2015, of which she is a sponsor. This legislation would create a grant program for mental health treatment, and authorize $20 million in the first year.

Pre-existing Conditions: “We need to address coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions.” (source)

Cost per Year: $7.964 billion per year ($39.819 billion over five years)

Notes: It is unclear what specific level of funding Ayotte would support. A related proposal has been drafted: CHE’s detailed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The reforms included a proposal to re-establish federal funding for high-risk pools to provide health insurance coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Funding would start at $7.5 billion in the first year and increase by 3 percent annually.


National Defense and Foreign Affairs

Islamic State: “Kelly is pushing for a much stronger response to defeat ISIS, including bringing together NATO and our allies in the region, ramping up efforts to take out strategic targets, and denying ISIS the safe havens it now enjoys in Iraq and Syria.” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: The United States currently spends approximately $12.3 million per day fighting the Islamic State, and a total of slightly over $9 billion as of August 15th, 2016. Ayotte’s funding request is unclear, but a 2014 study by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments determined that higher-intensity air operations could cost up to $6.8 billion per year.