Foundation

Pennsylvania Senate Candidate Agenda Analysis: Katie McGinty

by Demian Brady, Andrew Wilford / /

Net Spending per Year: $71.628 billion

Economy, Transportation, & Infrastructure:

Equal Pay: “As Senator, I will work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act … .” (source)

Cost per Year: $3 million ($15 million over five years)

Notes: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1619/S. 862, the Paycheck Fairness Act that would enhance regulations pertaining to equal pay. The text of the bill authorizes $15 million for compliance training, a grant program for negotiation skills training for women, research, education, and outreach. NTUF assumes the outlays would occur over five years.

Infrastructure Bank: “In the Senate, I’ll support creative proposals to help us get to work safely and efficiently. The creation of a National Infrastructure Bank would establish a source of dedicated funding for infrastructure improvement project loans…” (source)

Cost per Year: $5 billion ($25 billion over five years)

Notes: Related legislation was introduced in the form of H.R. 3337, the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2015. The text of the bill authorizes $5 billion per year over five years, in order to fund infrastructure improvement projects related to energy, the environment, transportation, and telecommunication.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership: “Help small business manufacturers succeed … Congress can alleviate some of these problems [related to prohibitive costs and backlogs] by making it easier for Americans to open and grow small-scale manufacturing operations on American soil by fully funding and expanding the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).” (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 funding for the program at $260 million annually. In FY 2016, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership was funded at $130 million.

Minimum Wage: “It’s no secret that American workers are long overdue for a raise. That’s why I support boosting the minimum wage to $15 an hour.” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: Related legislation was introduced during the 113th Congress in the form of S. 2223, the Minimum Wage Fairness Act. The bill would have gradually increased the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and indexed it to inflation in years thereafter. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined the bill would not significantly impact federal outlays. It is unclear if this proposal would be scored similarly. In a related 2014 report, CBO noted that a minimum wage increase to $10.10 would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers across the country. It is unclear whether this would impact outlays for unemployment benefits or other welfare programs.

Paid Leave - Earned Leave: “I support proposals like the Healthy Families Act, which would allow workers up to a week of paid sick days each year to use for their own health or to care for a sick family member.” (source)

Cost per Year: $3 million ($17 million over five years)

Notes: The Healthy Families Act was introduced as H.R. 932 and S. 497. The proposal would require certain employers to permit their employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for each 30 hours worked. It would also require that the Commissioner of Labor Statistics and the Government Accountability Office to report on use of paid leave. In 2007, CBO estimated that the reporting requirements would increase outlays by $17 million over five years.

Paid Leave - National Benefit Program: “In the Senate, I’ll lead the charge to establish a national family and medical leave insurance program…” (source)

Cost per Year: $2.368 billion ($11.842 billion over five years)

Notes: Related legislation was introduced in the form of S. 786, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act. The bill would increase payroll taxes by 0.2 percent to finance a national benefit program. Adding this new payroll tax to the Office of Management and Budget’s estimates of total social insurance program receipts for years 2017-2021 yields a revenue estimate of $11.8 billion. NTUF assumes that the program’s costs align with the new tax receipts.

Women’s Small Business Ownership Act: “... [I]n, in the Senate, I will support passage of the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act, which will improve access to lending, business training and federal contracting for women-owned businesses.” (source)

Cost per Year: $7 million (first-year cost)

Notes: The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act was introduced in Congress as H.R. 4027 and S. 2126. CBO’s cost estimate reports that the bill would increase the program’s annual funding from $15 million to $22 million.

Workforce Training: “As Senator, I’ll champion measures that build and strengthen our skilled workforce. I'll fight to restore funding to job training and apprenticeship programs, and I’ll proudly sign on to proposals to offer tax credits, preference in the federal contracting process, and other incentives to employers who invest in their workers.” (source)

Cost per Year: $2.232 billion (first-year cost)

Notes: There has been an effort led by the National Skills Coalition to restore funding for job training programs to 2010 levels. In 2008, the federal budget provided $7.2 billion for job training and employment. After passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- also known as the “stimulus” bill -- job spending rose to $9.9 billion in FY 2010. By FY 2016, the budget provided $7.6 billion for job trainings programs. Restoring funding for these programs to 2010 levels would boost outlays by $2.232 billion.

 

Education, Science, & Research

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit: “We should consider increasing the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit…” (source)

Cost per Year: $21 million (first-year cost)

Notes: This credit, which took effect in 2010, covers a small portion of a small business’s payments for their employees health insurance. This is a “refundable” credit, meaning that it can be claimed by an eligible small business regardless of their income tax liability. In FY 2016, the refundable portion of the credit resulted in the spending of $59 million. The Obama Administration’s FY 2017 budget included a proposal to expand the credit at a cost of $21 million in the first year. A five-year estimate is unavailable.

Student Loans: “I support legislation like the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren.” (source)

Cost per Year: $19.333 billion ($58 billion over three years)*

Notes: Related legislation was introduced in Congress this year as S. 793, and in the 113th Congress as S. 2432, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. CBO most recently scored the bill as a $58 billion cost over three years.

*The cost for this item is included McGinty’s support of Clinton’s Tuition-Free College plan (above).

Technical Education: “I believe the key to addressing this deficit is to focus on aligning education with the needs of today’s premier manufacturers. Already, great proposals exist to create and expand technical education programs. For middle and high schools, establishing and expanding existing career and technical education programs can help students better understand the variety of options they have after graduation, and prepare them with the skills they need to be successful. For undergraduate students at colleges and universities across the nation, making sure that the courses offered meet the needs of modern manufacturers can help students graduate directly into good-paying jobs for which they are qualified.” (source)

Cost per Year: $20 million ($40 million over two years)

Notes: Legislation related to “establishing and expanding existing career and technical education programs” in middle and high schools was introduced in the Senate as S. 1166, the BUILD Career and Technical Education Act of 2015. The bill would authorize grants of $40 million over two years. It is unclear whether McGinty would use tax credits or additional spending to ensure that college courses “meet the needs of modern manufacturers.”

Tuition-Free College: “I support Secretary Hillary Clinton’s proposal to make public colleges and universities debt-free for middle class families with incomes up to $125,000 by 2021, and President Obama’s initiative to make 2 years of community college free for full-time, hard-working students.” (source)

Cost per year: $50 billion ($500 billion over ten years).

Notes: Clinton’s plan, dubbed “The New College Compact”, contains a number of provisions designed to lower the cost of tuition at public colleges and universities, including: federal grants to states that reduce tuition; student loan refinancing provisions (similar to legislation introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren); the President's $6 billion per year plan to make community colleges "free"; and permanently extending the refundable American Opportunity Tax Credit. Clinton estimates her plan would cost $500 billion over ten years.

Universal Pre-K: “In the Senate, I will proudly support Senator Bob Casey’s Child CARE Act, a plan that will help families afford care, increase resources for states to implement much-needed reforms for childcare facilities and providers, and give parents and caregivers the tools they need to support early learning for children under four.” (source)

Cost per Year: $5.068 billion ($25.338 billion over five years)

Notes: The Child CARE Act was introduced in the Senate as S. 2539. The legislation would provide $25.3 billion over five years for child care grants to the states.

Energy and the Environment

Clean Energy: “We need to harness our renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, to create good jobs and cut electricity bills for taxpayers. In Washington, I will support innovations in clean energy technologies and tax incentives that will level the playing field to move our country towards a clean energy future… In the Senate, I will be a leading voice for strengthening our clean energy economy by investing in renewable energy and innovative infrastructure technology, while cutting carbon emissions and lowering energy costs.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: It is unclear whether McGinty would seek to support renewable energy through increased spending or through expanded tax credits.

 

Health Care

Affordable Care Act (ACA): “As Senator, I will defend and build on the ACA by working to promote access to affordable medical coverage and rein in skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs. I will fight to lower copays and deductibles and reduce the cost of prescription drugs for our families and seniors.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: It is unclear what policies McGinty would promote pursuant to this objective.

Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention: “In the Senate, I’ll be proud to stand with Senator Bob Casey to cosponsor the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act, legislation that strengthens national, state and local efforts to prevent senior abuse and exploitation while providing increased resources to aid senior victims.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: The Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act was introduced in the Senate as S. 2747. The bill would authorize “such sums as may be necessary” for elder justice programs.

Home Health Care Workers: “We must also ensure that our seniors have top quality home healthcare workers – that’s why I support raising wages for home healthcare workers and dedicating resources to training for healthcare providers. That includes making sure that direct care workers have a strong voice to advocate for themselves and their consumers.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: It is unclear what resources McGinty would dedicate to training health care providers.

Medicare - Home Health Care: “In the Senate, I would work to make it easier for seniors to stay at home by supporting and sponsoring proposals like the bipartisan Independence at Home Act which would make permanent an innovative Medicare program that incentivizes home health care delivery – creating budget savings while reducing unnecessary and avoidable hospital visits.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Note: A home health care demonstration program was included in the Affordable Care Act. In June, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services reported that the program saved $25 million in its first year. The Independence at Home Act, introduced as S. 3130, would make the demonstration program permanent. While this could lead to additional savings, a cost estimate is indeterminate.

Medicare - Prescription Drug Price Negotiation: “In the Senate, I’ll look for ways to ensure Medicare’s solvency like... allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: 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.”

Mental Health: “I believe that mental and behavioral healthcare is critically important to the well-being of our nation. I support full parity for these services with coverage for physical ailments. In the Senate, I will fight for families dealing with the devastating effects of addiction, including opioid addiction.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: It is unclear what additional policies McGinty would promote pursuant to this objective. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, enacted in July of 2016, authorized a total of $72 million in order to address the issue of opioid addiction.

 

Homeland Security & Law Enforcement

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): “McGinty proposes doubling federal funding for the COPS program to hire, train local police officers[.]” (source)

Cost per Year: $187 million (first-year cost)

Notes: McGinty would double the funding in the first year: “Doubling this year’s funding total of $187 million to the COPS hiring program would bring the total funding for Fiscal year 2017 to $374 million.”


Social Security

Caregiver Credit: “Our focus should be ... expanding Social Security to help those who need it the most – like for ... those men and women who left the workforce to raise a child or help an ailing family member.” (source)

Cost per Year: $5.4 billion ($54.025 billion over ten years)

Notes: A Caregiver Credit would provide a new Social Security benefit for individuals who leave the workforce to care for an ailing family member or  raise their children. The most recent analysis available is from  2009 analysis by the Urban Institute estimated that establishing a caregiver credit would increase Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) outlays by 0.5 percent over the first ten years. The Congressional Budget Office projects that outlays under OASDI will total $10.81 trillion from FY 2017-2026. A 0.5 percent increase would boost outlays by $54.03 billion over ten years, or $5.4 billion on average per year. In 2015, the Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration estimated that a proposal (listed in the report as B7.3) to provide a credit to parents (with a child under six for earnings up to five years) would increase the long-range actuarial balance for OASDI by 0.23 percent.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA): “Our focus should be reforming [Social Security’s] COLA formula so that it really reflects the costs experienced by seniors…” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: Social Security’s benefits are annually adjusted “if there is an increase in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.” The Bureau of Labor statistics also calculates an unofficial index of inflation, known as CPI-E, based on the purchasing patterns of the elderly. Social Security’s Trustees estimate that using CPI-E to compute inflation would increase the average cost of living allowance by 0.2 percent. While a five-year cost estimate is unavailable, the Trustees estimate that Social Security’s long-range actuarial balance will increase by 14 percent.

Surviving Spouses: “Our focus should be ... expanding Social Security to help those who need it the most – like for those who have lost spouses and now face a deep benefit cut…” (source)

Cost per year: $1.189 billion ($11.886 billion over ten years)

Notes: In 2015, the Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration analyzed a proposal (listed in the report as D4) to establish an alternative benefit for a surviving spouse: “For the surviving spouse, the alternative benefit would equal 75 percent of the sum of the survivor’s own worker benefit and the deceased worker’s [primary insurance amount] (including any actuarial reductions or delayed retirement credits).” This proposal would increase the long-term actuarial OASDI balance by 0.11 percent. The CBO projects that outlays under OASDI will total $10.81 trillion from FY 2017-2026, a 0.11 percent increase would boost outlays by $11.886 billion over ten years, or $1.189 billion on average per year. Costs for this proposal could run much higher if the benefits are not targeted to low to moderate-income households. In 2007, CBO analyzed a related, less-targeted benefit increase for surviving spouses that would have increased outlays by $119 billion ($136 billion in current dollars) over five years.


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