To address America's impending entitlement crisis, NTUF will bring policy experts together to discuss how to reform Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. What can taxpayers expect from this Congress and down the road? Be a part of the conversation - join us for "Moving Forward on Entitlements: Practical Steps to Reform" on February 11th.
Don't miss our knowledgeable panel of experts:
- The Honorable Devin Nunes of the House of Representatives
- Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum
- Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
- Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal
Visit NTUF's invite page for all the details!
Latest NTUF Research
As many NTUF supporters chatted and tweeted their opinions during the State of the Union Address last Tuesday, NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady produced a line-by-line analysis of the spending initiatives in the President's remarks. The agenda items he laid would increase spending by $20 billion, but a lack of details obscured the true price tag.
Highlights included increased "investment" in transportation infrastructure -- a possible $50 billion in new spending -- and more tax dollars directed to the "Race to the Top" education initiative -- a $1.35 billion increase over current spending. The President also proposed to extend by two years the partial freeze in certain discretionary spending he called for in last year's SOTU address. This would save an additional $15 billion annually.
"State of the Union speeches can't possibly provide every detail on the future course of federal spending, but this year's speech contained a high degree of ambiguity that could be masking tens - even hundreds - of billions in new liabilities, or, perhaps some additional savings," Brady concluded. "This is why taxpayers may need to look beyond the words they heard last night and toward the numbers they'll see in coming weeks, when the White House releases its budget blueprint."
To compare previous speech tallies, check out NTUF's historical comparison of State of the Union Addresses.
Visit NTUF's invite page for all the details!
Most Expensive Bill of the Week
The Bill: H.R. 403, Homes for Heroes Act of 2011
Annualized Cost: $331 million ($1.657 billion over five years)
In order to help more veterans, Congressman Al Green (TX-9) sponsored the Homes for Heroes Act. The bill aims to provide more housing to veterans by providing vouchers to more individuals and to subsidize a greater percentage of rental payments to veterans already receiving payments.
Up to 20,000 rental vouchers would be authorized to help homeless veterans every year. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), $791 million in new voucher spending would result over the next five years if H.R. 403 is enacted. Assistance to nonprofit organizations helping very low-income veterans is also called for in the bill. CBO estimated the supportive housing by outside groups would cost $500 million between FY 2011 and 2014. Grants for such groups would also be made available for technical assistance, totaling $1 million per year.
Changes to federal rental assistance programs would provide veterans and their families with a larger percentage of compensation for their rent. About 300,000 veterans are in these programs. As veterans or their surviving dependents pay $85 million less each year in their rent, the government would pay $392 million over the next five years to satisfy the new requirement.
Least Expensive Bill of the Week
The Bill: H.R. 38, a bill to rescind funds appropriated to the Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund under the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Annualized Savings: -$333 million (-$1 billion over three years)
The Health Care Implementation Fund was established under the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act to pay for administrative expenses in the health care package. In an effort to repeal the two major bills, Congressman John Fleming (LA-4) sponsored H.R. 37 to stop funding a part of the overhaul.
CBO estimates matched the authorized level of funding listed in the Reconciliation Act at $1 billion over three years, beginning in FY 2012.
The Bill: H.R. 27, Lumbee Recognition Act
Annualized Cost: $157 million ($786 million over five years)
Number of Cosponsors: 41 Congressmen
H.R. 27 would provide federal recognition to the Lumbee Indian Tribe in North Carolina. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) would provide assistance in the form of welfare services, adult care, and community development. Also, the Indian Health Service (IHS) would be responsible for giving care to about 31,000 tribe members, or about 56 percent of the population. Various other federal agencies would support the Lumbee tribe, including the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Agriculture.
IHS health care costs would make up the bulk of new spending, totaling $648 million over five years. According to a CBO report, approximately $4,000 would be spent for each beneficiary. BIA services and projects would likely cost $138 million over five years. However, these estimates are based on per capita expenditures for other eastern tribes and not necessarily the specific needs of the Lumbee tribe.
The bill Congressman Mike McIntyre (NC-7) introduced is cosponsored by 41 Democratic House members from across the country.
We Want You!
NTUF is looking for late summer/fall associate policy analysts to participate in our internship program. Associates assist with BillTally research and other policy projects. Academic credit and a stipend are possible. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!
The Bill: H.R. 90, a bill to provide for federal research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities to enable the development of farms that are net producers of both food and energy, and for other purposes.
Annualized Cost: $75 million ($375 million over five years)
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett's (MD-6) bill would provide funding for state agricultural research programs designed to research, develop, and encourage self-powered farms. The farms would use loans to apply energy-saving and generating technologies on a commercial scale. Special consideration would be given to biobased feedstock and other renewable energy sources that are produced and consumed on the same farm. States would also be awarded funds for self-powered farm demonstration projects.
The text of the bill authorizes $75 million to cover the cost of loans and administration expenses for each of the next five years.
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.
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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.