Florida U.S. Representative Spending Analysis -- David Jolly

Total Net Spending Agenda: -$60.04 billion (savings)

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: $180 million

A. Index the Minimum Wage:

“[Moderator:] Do you support raising the minimum wage?

[Mr. Jolly:] I support indexing the minimum wage to some kind of cost-of-living adjustment.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (21:30)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1010 (113th Congress), the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. The bill would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over two years and would then be subsequently increased according to changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Also, President Obama issued an executive order that established a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour for individuals working under new contracts with the federal government, beginning on January 1, 2015.

In a 2014 report on the effects of a minimum wage increase, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) noted that “the net effect on the federal budget of raising the minimum wage would probably be a small decrease in budget deficits for several years but a small increase in budget deficits thereafter. If is unclear whether the effect for the coming decade as a whole would be a small increase or a small decrease in budget deficits.” CBO makes special note of a change in outlays for the earned income tax credit (EITC), which is refundable and is counted as spending, because many families are currently within the EITC phase-out range and with an income increase would become ineligible for the credit.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf

In a letter regarding the version of the Act introduced in the 109th Congress, CBO reported: “The increases in the minimum wage on the order of magnitude suggested in your letter could affect federal spending, but the [CBO] judges that those effects would be small. Moreover, whether those impacts would be an increase or decrease in spending is uncertain because the result would depend on the income and family characteristics of the affected individuals.” http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/77xx/doc7713/thomasdec29.pdf

B. Prevent National Flood Insurance Premium Rate Hike:

“The Biggert-Waters Act is bad law now and will still be bad law four years from now. While I support an immediate delay of the law as the surest way to provide relief to Pinellas homeowners‎, Congress should consider implementing a more comprehensive National Natural Disaster Insurance Program that more fairly aggregates and assesses both the risk and the cost of events across the country for regions routinely impacted by floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, ice and other natural disasters.”

http://davidjolly.com/issues

Cost: $180 million ($900 million over five years).

Source: CBO estimate for S. 1846 (113th Congress), the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013. The bill would delay the planned rate increase for flood insurance provided by the National Flood Insurance Program until 2018. The extension of current rates is intended to give time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the program, to rework the maps used to assess premium and subsidy rates.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1846.pdf

Health Care: -$63.9 billion (savings)

A. Block Medicaid Expansion WIthout Federal Guarantees:

“[Moderator:] Should Florida accept the [federal] money to expand Medicaid?

[Mr. Jolly:] Not without a guarantee that the federal government is not gonna step out and pull the blanket out from underneath us on it.” 

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (6:55)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: As signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) required each state to expand their Medicaid programs to include individuals and families who do not have health insurance, have an income below the state health exchange threshold, and have an income above the threshold to be eligible for traditional Medicaid benefits. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that this provision was unconstitutional: the federal government cannot mandate that states expand their Medicaid programs. Instead, states can decide whether to do so and accept the temporary, enhanced federal match.  CBO later reported that the funds authorized in the Act would remain available for obligation when states opt into the expansion and there would be net savings to the extent that states do not opt in.

Regarding Mr. Jolly’s statement about a federal guarantee, under the ACA the federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs for newly eligible Medicaid recipients from FY 2014  through 2016. Thereafter, the reimbursement rate will gradually decrease to 90 percent by FY 2020. As a result, the decrease in federal reimbursements will require state government to make up for the difference. It is unclear what guarantees Mr. Jolly would support or expect beyond what is current law.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43472-07-24-2012-CoverageEstimates.pdf

B. Purchase Insurance Across State Lines:

“I’ve talked about a term health insurance policy for young people to get into an affordable plan early, that’s portable across state lines, decoupled from the employer, that can’t be canceled if there are intervening health events.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (12:00)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation was introduced in the form of H.R. 2355 (109th Congress), the Health Care Choice Act of 2005. The bill 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 apply today given that it was originally calculated years before the implementation of ACA. The proposal was reintroduced in the 113th Congress in the form of H.R. 3607.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/66xx/doc6639/hr2355.pdf

C. Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

“[The Affordable Care Act] should be repealed now, and then Congress and the Administration should begin to consider private sector solutions that address very specific problems in the health insurance industry.”

http://davidjolly.com/issues

Cost: -$63.9 billion (-$319.5 billion over five years).

Source: Repealing “Obamacare”: A Look Beyond the Media’s Misguided Deficit Focus, National Taxpayers Union Foundation, Issue Brief 164, July 2012.

http://www.ntu.org/ntuf/ntuf-ib-164.html

Note: NTUF’s estimate is based on CBO reports for H.R. 2 (112th Congress), the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, and H.R. 6079, the repeal of Obamacare Act. However, 7 other introduced bills would repeal ACA and replace it with alternate reforms. Those bills are H.R. 779, the Access to Insurance for All Americans Act; H.R. 2165, the Ensuring Quality Health Care for All Americans Act of 2013; H.R. 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act of 2013; H.R. 2900, the Offering Patients True Individualized Options Now (OPTION) Act of 2013; H.R. 3121, the American Health Care Reform Act of 2013; H.R. 3165, the Common Sense Health Reform Americans Actually Want Act; and H.R. 3622, the Patient Centered Healthcare Savings Act of 2013.

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $3.68 billion

A. Secure the Border:

“We need to secure our borders. To discuss comprehensive immigration reform while we continue to have a porous border where more people can continue to enter our country illegally ultimately ignores the very basic principle that people in our country illegally should not be given special treatment over those who have been patiently waiting in their country of origin to enter our country legally.”

http://davidjolly.com/issues

Cost: $3.68 billion ($18.4 billion over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of S. 744 (113th Congress), the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The bill would streamline and overhaul the immigration system and increase border security and infrastructure. A CBO estimate of the bill as passed is available. Using the CBO estimate, NTUF found that the bill would allocate additional funding  for border-related administrative costs, double the number of Border Patrol agents (including their benefits, training, and forgiving student loans), and adjust fees and penalties that would offset some spending. The border security provisions of S. 744 would total $18.4 billion over the first five years. This figure does not include the immigration-related spending in the bill.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s744aspassed.pdf

National Security and International Relations: Unknown.

A. Ensure the Military is Properly Equipped:

“... [W]e must ensure that our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, including those serving in the Guard & Reserves, are equipped with the most advanced tools and technologies necessary to execute their mission and return home safely.”

http://davidjolly.com/issues

Cost: Unknown.

B. Fight for Local and Regional Military Installations:

“We must fight to maintain our local and regional military installations upon which so many jobs rely, and we must protect and grow the strong presence of defense, manufacturing and high technology jobs that ultimately provide for the security for our nation.”

http://davidjolly.com/issues

Cost: Unknown.

C. Strengthen America’s Foreign Policy

“We also must advance a foreign policy that protects the strength of the United States of America, and ends the pattern of this Administration negotiating away our leverage. We must stand by our allies who fight with us against terrorist cells around the globe, and allies like Israel who advance stability and freedom in increasingly unstable regions.”

http://davidjolly.com/issues

Cost: Unknown.

Veterans: Unknown.

A. Protect Veterans Programs and Funding:

“We owe it to them to provide the resources necessary, at Bay Pines VA Medical Center and at other regional facilities, to address systemic issues of case backlogs and continue to work for a more efficient claims process. We must protect the Department of Veterans Affairs budget and work toward a budget process that provides increasing stability in the budget process upon which the VA can then more effectively deploy resources and personnel.”

http://davidjolly.com/issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: In the omnibus appropriations bill passed in January, 2014, $294 million was authorized to be spent to help the Department of Veterans Affairs to reduce the claims backlog, upgrade IT systems, and increase employee training.

http://www.vetsfirst.org/vas-fy-2014-funding-includes-help-for-claims-backlog/

Multiple related bills have been introduced, including:

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr2189_1.pdf

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45078-s1982.pdf

It is unclear what measures Mr. Jolly would support to help reduce the number of open veterans benefits claims. It is also unclear how Mr. Jolly would change the Department of Veterans Affairs’ annual budget.

Fiscal Notes:

“I support a [B]alanced [B]udget [A]mendment.”

http://davidjolly.com/issues

“[Moderator:] Do you support light rail in Pinellas County?

[Mr. Jolly:] I do not, it’s a tax increase.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (22:53)

“[Moderator:] Would you support a reform package that would both cut some benefits and raise taxes to keep Social Security solvent?

[Mr. Jolly:]  We have to guarantee the benefits promised to current beneficiaries and anybody who is vested, meaning anybody who’s worked 20 quarters, ten years. … We can’t break a promise that Congress has already made [for those under the age of 30].

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (21:35)

“Let’s recognize the out-year obligation of [the Social Security] promise, put it on the balance sheet, then own it as debt.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (33:40)


Florida U.S. Representative Spending Analysis -- Lucas Overby

Total Net Spending Agenda: $191 million

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: $180 million

A. Prevent National Flood Insurance Premium Rate Hike:

“I am in favor of obviously suspending [the flood insurance rate hike] for the four years while we get to work on real solutions. … I am in support of what Representative Brandes is working on with expanding the public option to get involved and a lot of  that will deal with the regulating and stopping forcing people from doing the government option and start allowing private insurers to get in the game and offer us real alternatives.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (16:20)

Cost: $180 million ($900 million over five years).

Source: CBO estimate for S. 1846 (113th Congress), the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013. The bill would delay the planned rate increase for flood insurance provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until 2018. The extension of current rates is intended to give time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the program, to rework the maps used to assess premium and subsidy rates.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1846.pdf

Note: Mr. Overby is referring to SB 542, sponsored by Florida State Senator Brandes. The bill would attempt to bring private insurers into the flood insurance sector as an alternative to the NFIP by streamlining the state’s regulatory procedures and change minimums of how much individuals can insure. A cost estimate is not available.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/0542

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/brandes-and-ahern-propose-legislation-to-create-private-flood-insurance/2157392

Education, Science, and Research: Unknown.

A. Tie Academic Performance with Financial Aid:

“The cost of student financial aid and the cost of college period has gone up dramatically due in large part to subsidies. We need to start getting the federal government out of the way and we need to start allowing colleges to become more competitive.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (26:22)

Cost: Unknown.

Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: Unknown.

A. Permit States to Decide on Offshore Drilling:

“Offshore drilling should be the choice of the state. The community should be able to drive where they want their state to go. The state said ‘no’ so I support the state’s decision on that.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (35:05)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Royalties and lease payments from offshore oil and gas drilling are shared between the federal government and the state governments bordering any leased-areas. Several bills have been introduced to expand exploration and drilling, reverse the offshore drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, or, more specifically, to permit offshore operations off the coast of specific states. One such bill was 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 government Commonwealth of Virginia, and the rest would be dedicated toward federally-directed infrastructure, energy, and conservation spending in Virginia. A cost estimate is not available. The sale of leases on federal land could generate offsetting receipts which budget agencies classify as negative outlays. There are several factors that would affect the amount of negative outlays, including the number of permits made available and the price of oil.

It is unclear whether or not Mr. Overby would introduce a similar measure for Florida.

B. Use Block Grants to Diversify Energy Sources:

“I propose that we work towards the expansion of all viable energy alternatives by the utilization of block grants to the states for innovation in their specific region paired with lifting [Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)]] restrictions on these innovations, open all oil production, pair increased oil production with the removal of tax incentives and the application of a production tax that, while still allowing for a large profit scale, could fund the innovations grants for the states, and downsize the scope and reach of the EPA.”

http://www.lucasoverby.com/energy_policy.php

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of: S. 570 (113th Congress), the Clean Energy Race to the Top Act of 2013. The bill would authorize the Department of Energy to award competitive grants to states that present viable plans for renewable energy production; at the same time, it would eliminate certain tax deductions for production-related income that large oil companies are currently able to claim. The bill would increase spending by $5 billion in the first five years.

It unclear whether Mr. Overby would use current spending or if he would support additional spending  to expand alternative energy resources.

Government Reform: $11 million

A. Expand Federal Employee Benefits to Domestic Partners:

“Consenting adults should be free to choose their own ... personal relationships, and regardless of those preferences nonetheless receive the same protection, benefits, and validation under their Constitution. “

http://www.lucasoverby.com/marriage_equality.php

Cost: $11 million ($55 million over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 3135 (113th Congress), the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2013. The bill would make all domestic partners of federal employees eligible for certain health and insurance plans that are offered to married workers' spouses. A CBO cost estimate is available.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1910.pdf

Health Care: Unknown.

A. Reform the Health Care Sector:

“I’m in favor of getting health care costs down. If we need to work across the aisle and retain portions of [the ACA], there are good aspects of it. I don’t believe in forcing people to buy insurance but I do believe in the consumer protection aspects of the bill. We need to be focusing less on insurance though, we need to be getting down the total cost of care. We need to be decreasing regulations. We nee to be giving doctors better access  to their patients and we need to be fighting to reduce costs where Congress can. Insurance follows after that.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (12:30)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: It is unclear what parts of ACA that Mr. Overby would repeal.

In July 2012, NTUF scored the repeal of ACA as a $63.9 billion annual ($319.5 billion over five years) net savings. The estimate is based on CBO reports for H.R. 2 (112th Congress), the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, and H.R. 6079, the repeal of Obamacare Act. However, ## other introduced bills would repeal ACA and replace it with alternate reforms. Those bills are H.R. 779, the Access to Insurance for All Americans Act; H.R. 2165, the Ensuring Quality Health Care for All Americans Act of 2013; H.R. 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act of 2013; H.R. 2900, the Offering Patients True Individualized Options Now (OPTION) Act of 2013; H.R. 3121, the American Health Care Reform Act of 2013; H.R. 3165, the Common Sense Health Reform Americans Actually Want Act; and H.R. 3622, the Patient Centered Healthcare Savings Act of 2013.

http://www.ntu.org/ntuf/ntuf-ib-164.html

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: Unknown.

A. Reform the Immigration System:

“I do support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. … I am in full support of the Senate bill aside from several of the pieces that are extraordinarily way too expensive. We have been developing plans to help states work with the federal government to utilize their own military resources in order to secure their borders and do it at a decreased cost to the nation. ”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (20:30)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: The Senate passed S. 744 (113th Congress), the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which would streamline and overhaul the current immigration system, and provide for additional border security and infrastructure. CBO scored the bill as passed as a $101 billion spending increase over five years to increase border security and provide federal benefits to new citizens and immigrants. It is unclear what provisions of the bill Mr. Overby would support.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s744aspassed.pdf

National Security and International Relations: Unknown.

A. Revamp America’s Foreign Policy:

“I propose ending our involvement in all current conflicts, severely limiting our use of sanctions, removing drones from undeclared battle fields, and empowering Congress to reclaim the sole power it has to constitutionally declare war. To truly protect our interests and sustainability, foreign aid needs to end. The selling and trading of American military technology needs to end. The massive total of American soldiers stationed around the world need to return home to protect our borders.”

http://www.lucasoverby.com/forgien_policy.php

Cost: Unknown.

Note:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2014/assets/14msr.pdf

http://nationalpriorities.org/blog/2013/05/06/how-much-foreign-aid-does-us-give-away/

Fiscal Notes:

“I am in full favor of the federal legalization of medicinal marijuana and hemp farming.”

http://www.lucasoverby.com/drug_policy.php

My focus has been on simplifying the tax code and reducing the overall tax burden. While moving us, as a nation, to a place where we are no longer paying income tax at all, this is the quickest first step.”

http://www.lucasoverby.com/financial_crisis.php

“[Moderator:] Should Florida accept the [federal] money to expand Medicaid?

[Mr. Overby:] Yes.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (6:55)

Note: As signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) required each state to expand their Medicaid programs to include individuals and families who do not have health insurance, have an income below the state health exchange threshold, and have an income above the threshold to be eligible for traditional Medicaid benefits. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that this provision was unconstitutional: the federal government cannot mandate that states expand their Medicaid programs. Instead, states can decide whether to do so and accept the temporary, enhanced federal match. CBO later reported that the funds authorized in the Act would remain available for obligation when states opt into the expansion and there would be net savings to the extent that states do not opt in.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43472-07-24-2012-CoverageEstimates.pdf

“[Moderator:] Do you support legalizing medical marijuana?

[Mr. Overby:] Yes.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (7:22)

“[Moderator:] Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment?

[Mr. Overby:] Yes.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (7:15)

“We have to figure out if we are going to [cut Social Security benefits] and I don’t support doing that. … [There are plans that say] that we don’t necessarily have to cut and we don’t have to increase the cap. Increasing the cap increases the amount we need to pay off. I am in favor of doing a voluntary drop-out for people who would be receiving it and do it as a charitable donation. Find a way to decrease the amount that we’re putting out without forcing people to give up the benefits that they’ve already paid for.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (22:20)

“[Moderator:] Do you support light rail in Pinellas County?

[Mr. Overby:] No.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (22:52)


Florida U.S. Representative Spending Analysis -- Alex Sink

Total Net Spending Agenda: $20.391 billion

Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure: $180 million

A. Build a Light Rail System in Pinellas County:

“[Moderator:] Do you support light rail in Pinellas County?

[Mrs. Sink:] I do.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (22:51)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: The Greenlight Pinellas Plan would expand local bus services and build a light rail line between St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida. According to a preliminary financial feasibility study by Ernst & Young (E&Y), the project is estimated to cost approximately $2.5 billion (year-of-expenditure dollars). The federal government would fund one third ($938 million) of the total with grants through the New Starts program. E&Y also points out other possible federal funding sources including the Urbanized Area Formula Program, the State of Good Repair Formula Grants Program, and the Bus and Bus Related Equipment and Facilities Program. The majority of capital spending would occur between FY 2018 and FY 2023, which is outside of the budgetary window of this study. A year-by-year cost estimate is not available and federal grants would be individually approved on a case-by-case basis, not guaranteeing that the project would receive federal funds.

http://www.psta.net/PDF/Greenlight%20Pinellas%20Preliminary%20Financial%20Feasibility%20Analysis.pdf

B. Increase the Minimum Wage:

“... I support raising the minimum wage.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (21:40)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1010 (113th Congress), the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. The bill would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over two years and would then be subsequently increased according to changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Also, President Obama issued an executive order that established a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour for individuals working under new contracts with the federal government, beginning on January 1, 2015.

In a 2014 report on the effects of a minimum wage increase, the CBO noted that “the net effect on the federal budget of raising the minimum wage would probably be a small decrease in budget deficits for several years but a small increase in budget deficits thereafter. It is unclear whether the effect for the coming decade as a whole would be a small increase or a small decrease in budget deficits.” CBO makes special note of an increase upon the earned income tax credit (EITC), which is refundable and is counted as spending, because many families are currently within the EITC phase-out range and with an income increase would become ineligible for the credit.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf

In a letter regarding the version of the Act introduced in the 109th Congress, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported: “The increases in the minimum wage on the order of magnitude suggested in your letter could affect federal spending, but the [CBO] judges that those effects would be small. Moreover, whether those impacts would be an increase or decrease in spending is uncertain because the result would depend on the income and family characteristics of the affected individuals.” http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/77xx/doc7713/thomasdec29.pdf

C. Prevent Federal Flood Insurance Premium Rate Hike:

“Congress should immediately stop the [federal flood insurance premium] rate spike, instruct [Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)] to complete the affordability study that was promised, and pass new flood insurance legislation that protects Florida’s business and families.”

http://www.alexforcongress.com/issues

“Alex supports the immediate delay of the rate spike, and a roll back for those who have received premium increases under the current flawed system. Congress should delay the spike until fair rates can be accurately calculated.

Alex will also work with FEMA to educate homeowners on how to save money and better prepare for disasters – such as through the elevation of HVAC systems and the installation of backflow preventers and breakaway walls, which should result in lower premiums. Congress should consider tax credits and supporting low-interest loans for homeowners related to these and other improvements, which should save money in the long run. Alex will also work with the private sector and FEMA to explore expanding insurance options and choices for consumers, such as offering higher deductible policies to reduce premiums.”

http://www.alexforcongress.com/news/alex-sink-releases-principles-to-break-the-gridlock-on-flood-insurance

“FEMA should complete the affordability and re-mapping studies that were promised and are part of the basis for rate calculations. FEMA should include outside industry experts in completing these studies to ensure a fair review of procedures and accurate mapping in Florida.”

http://www.alexforcongress.com/news/alex-sink-releases-principles-to-break-the-gridlock-on-flood-insurance

“Alex will work to create a simplified appeals process and consumer advocacy services to facilitate communications between stakeholders, ensure that homeowners can file complaints, hold politicians and FEMA accountable, and make sure homeowners receive their claim checks quickly.”

http://www.alexforcongress.com/news/alex-sink-releases-principles-to-break-the-gridlock-on-flood-insurance

Cost: $180 million ($900 million over five years).

Source: CBO estimate for S. 1846 (113th Congress), the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013. The bill would delay the planned rate increase for flood insurance provided by the National Flood Insurance Program until 2018. The extension of current rates is intended to give time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the program, to rework the maps used to assess premium and subsidy rates.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1846.pdf

Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment: Unknown.

A. Use New Technologies and Streamline Costs:

“Polypack is taking advantage of new technologies to streamline costs and do more with less – and we need to bring this commitment to innovation and problem solving that is being practiced in the private sector back to Washington so Congress can start getting results for Pinellas families.”

http://www.alexforcongress.com/news/alex-sink-joins-local-pinellas-company-polypack-at-installation-of-1000-solar-panels

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Polypack is a packaging supplies manufacturing company based in Pinellas county, FL. The company recently installed 1,000 solar panels at its production facility in Clearwater; Mrs. Sink was in attendance for the public unveiling in November. It is unclear from her statement how Mrs. Sink would change energy programs and associated spending on the federal level to reflect Polypack’s solar panel installations.

http://polypack.com/current-news/item/1000-solar-panel-installation-unveiled

Government Reform: $11 million

A. Expand Federal Employee Benefits to Domestic Partners:

“I support gay marriage.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (30:40)

Cost: $11 million ($55 million over five years).

Source: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 3135 (113th Congress), the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2013. The bill would make all domestic partners of federal employees eligible for certain health and insurance plans that are offered to married workers' spouses. A CBO cost estimate is available.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s1910.pdf

Health Care: Unknown.

A . Allow for Prescription Drug Price Negotiation:

“We ought to be negotiating pharmaceutical prices just like the [Department of Veterans Affairs] does.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (14:50)

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1102 (113th Congress), the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2013 and H.R. 2296 (112th Congress), the America Rx Act of 2011. The bills would establish a program to provide patients with prescription drugs at discounted prices. A cost estimate is 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. Delay Parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if Necessary:

“The Obama Administration needs to be held accountable to get the website running, and making any necessary changes to fix any problems with the law. If these changes cannot be made in a timely way, then components of the law should be delayed until these issues are addressed.”

http://www.alexforcongress.com/issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: The White House has announced delays to the employer mandate and the enrollment deadline for people with pre-existing conditions. Other such delays, such as a delay in the individual mandate, could result in savings. It is unclear which deadlines Ms. Sink would extend or what mandates she would seek to delay in the event of more implementation problems.

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: $20.2 billion

A. Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

“I do support comprehensive immigration reform. … I support the Senate plan … .”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (19:17)

Cost: $20.2 billion ($101 billion over five years).

Note: CBO estimated that the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, S. 744 (113th Congress), the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, would increase spending by $101 billion over the next five years. It would streamline and overhaul the current immigration system, and provide for additional border security and infrastructure.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/s744aspassed.pdf

Veterans: Unknown.

A. Ensure Veteran Access to Benefits and Employment:

“We need to continue building on Congressman Bill Young’s legacy of service to our American heroes --  ensuring that our country is doing all we can so that veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned, and promoting programs to help get returning veterans back to work after their service.”

http://www.alexforcongress.com/issues

Cost: Unknown.

Note: Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) introduced omnibus veterans’ benefits legislation in the form of S. 1982, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Pay Restoration Act of 2014. The bill includes a wide range of proposals related to various veterans’ benefits programs, including the repeal of one-percent reductions in cost-of-living adjustments for retirees, scholarship eligibility expansions, and reauthorizations of job training programs instituted as part of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. A CBO cost estimate is available. If enacted, the bill would increase spending by  It is unclear which of these proposals Ms. Sink would support.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45078-s1982.pdf.

Fiscal Notes:

“We need to take this same approach to Washington: start cutting our debt and balancing budgets by cutting wasteful spending and closing tax loopholes so that big corporations and the wealthiest few are paying their fair share. “

http://www.alexforcongress.com/issues

“[Moderator:] Should Florida accept the [federal] money to expand Medicaid?

[Mrs. Sink:] Yes.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (6:55)

Note: As signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) required each state to expand their Medicaid programs to include individuals and families who do not have health insurance, have an income below the state health exchange threshold, and have an income above the threshold to be eligible for traditional Medicaid benefits. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that this provision was unconstitutional: the federal government cannot mandate that states expand their Medicaid programs. Instead, states can decide whether to do so and accept the temporary, enhanced federal match. CBO later reported that the funds authorized in the Act would remain available for obligation when states opt into the expansion and there would be net savings to the extent that states do not opt in.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43472-07-24-2012-CoverageEstimates.pdf

“[Moderator:] Do you support legalizing medical marijuana?

[Mrs. Sink:] ... I support the idea of medical marijuana … but I am not going to support a constitutional amendment if it provides for pot shops on every corner of Florida.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (7:22)

“[Moderator:] What would you change about the Affordable Care Act?

[Mrs. Sink:] I also believe that there’s a tax in the Affordable Care Act that’s called the medical device tax. We have a lot of medical device manufactures in [the district] and they believe that if that tax is actually implemented it will certainly hurt their profits and then will result in job losses in our district.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (15:02)

“... President Obama is advocating for something in Social Security called the Chained CPI. That’s lowering the payments that Social Security recipients get under the theory that if they get less money then they’re going to eat less well. I totally disagree with that.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?317557-1/317557-1 (35:35)

Note: CBO estimated a Chained CPI would decrease federal mandatory spending by $71.8 billion in FY 2015-2019. A Chained CPI has not been signed into law at this time.

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/Government-wide_chained_CPI_estimate-2014_effective.pdf

In his FY 2014 Budget proposal, President Obama sought to institute a change in how Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) are calculated. Currently, COLAs for many federal benefits, including pensions and Social Security, are determined by the CPI, which is the rate of inflation. A CPI adjustment assumes consumers will continue to buy staple goods at higher prices, whereas Chained CPI accounts for the likelihood that consumers will purchase cheaper substitutes instead. Effects of instituting Chained CPI could include reduced future Social Security and pension payments (because inflation would increase at a slower rate) and increased marginal income taxes (because the standard deduction would have a slower increase).

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/factsheet/chained-cpi-protections

http://moneymorning.com/2013/05/03/the-chained-cpi-explained/

National Taxpayers Union Foundation