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  • Fiscal Year 2009 MilCon/VA Appropriations Bill
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 30, 2008 | Preview rr

    One of only two regular appropriations bills likely to receive House floor consideration in the 110th Congress is scheduled for debate today. The measure, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009 (H.R. 6599), provides $72.7 billion in net discretionary budget authority [BA] for military construction, family housing, Base Realignment and Closure, and veterans medical services. The bill also provides $43.4 billion in mandatory BA and $43.3 billion in ... Read more

  • The Broken Highway Trust Fund
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 23, 2008 | Preview rr

    With the Federal Highway Program at a critical juncture, the House will consider legislation today ostensibly aimed at shoring up the faltering Highway Trust Fund. But in doing so, the measure fundamentally alters the character of highway financing, weakens Congress’s prioritysetting role in allocating discretionary spending, and adds $8 billion to Federal budget deficits. Such significant steps should be fully debated, and not jammed through the House on the suspension calendar with all rules w... Read more

  • Turning Off the Medicare Trigger: Worse Than Doing Nothing
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 23, 2008 | Preview rr

    Despite their repeated claims of fiscal “responsibility,” the Democratic leadership has scheduled a vote rejecting even consideration of a proposal to slow the unsustainable growth of Medicare spending. The resolution, expected on the floor Thursday, would turn off an automatic “trigger” that requires the administration and Congress to address the Medicare Trustees’ warning of Medicare’s fiscal problems. The administration has done its part, but the Democratic leaders continue to stifle any pote... Read more

  • Understanding th Dilemma of Fanie and Freddie
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 17, 2008 | Preview rr

    The past actions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, combined with a weakened housing market, have presented Congress and the administration with a significant challenge. Failure to respond could lead to a financial crisis (known as “systemic risk”). On the other hand, bailing out Fannie and Freddie puts the taxpayer in the position of absorbing the losses of these for-profit firms in bad times, while the firms’ employees and shareholders reap the rewards during good times (known as “moral hazard”). ... Read more

  • The House Democrats' AMT Pitch
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 25, 2008 | Preview rr

    Repeating last year’s failed attempt to raise taxes, House Democrats are scheduled, once again, to bring up another alternative minimum tax [AMT] bill that needlessly raises taxes on the U.S. economy under the guise of AMT “relief.” Instead of simply adopting a straightforward AMT patch (without offsets), the House Majority will demand the $61.5-billion tax increase that the unintended expansion of the AMT would raise. (Absent an AMT patch, millions of Americans would face an unexpected and unin... Read more

  • The Medicare 'Doc Fix' (H.R. 6331)
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 24, 2008 | Preview rr

    To prevent a scheduled 10.6-percent reduction in the Medicare physician payment formula on the 1st of July, the Majority has rigged a so-called “doc fix” they already know cannot pass in the Senate. The legislation temporarily freezes Medicare physician payments for the duration of 2008, and provides a 1.1-percent payment update for 2009. But the true costs are disguised under budget gimmicks, while the bill delays permanent reforms that are needed in Medicare, and increases the already unsustai... Read more

  • Emergency War Supplemental, Fiscal Years 2008-09
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 19, 2008 | Preview rr

    Sixteen months after the President requested Iraq and Afghanistan funding for 2008-09, the House Majority is now bringing to the floor an emergency supplemental bill totaling more than $257 billion for the 2008-18 period. The measure, H.R. 2642 will provide discretionary funding for the war, diplomatic activities, domestic programs, Hurricane Katrina, and disaster assistance for midwest floods. The bill also contains direct, or mandatory, spending for expanded educational benefits for veterans, ... Read more

  • Budget Conference Report - Fiscal Year 2009
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 4, 2008 | Preview rr

    The Majority’s budget conference report claims to extend numerous middle-income tax relief measures passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bush. This is an empty promise that is not backed up by the budget or the Democrats’ rules: The Largest Tax Increase in History. Though Democrats insist otherwise, the budget raises taxes by at least $683 billion over the next 5 years. These include increases in marginal tax rates; elimination of the 10-percent bracket for lower-income taxpay... Read more

  • Budget Conference Report - Fiscal Year 2009
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 4, 2008 | Preview rr

    The budget conference report for fiscal year 2009 calls for record tax increases, raises discretionary spending by $241 billion above the President over 5 years, and does nothing to reform entitlements or earmarks. Even worse, Democrats already have signaled their intent to put off appropriations until after the next election – making this “budget” an exercise in futility. Here are some key points about the budget conference report. Read the full report here. Read more

  • Budget Resolution Conference Report - Fiscal Year 2009
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 4, 2008 | Preview rr

    “Their [the Republicans’] record is record deficits, record debt, record borrowing from abroad.” - Senator Kent Conrad, Chairman, Committee on the Budget, in the National Journal, 31 May 2008 “Fiscal responsibility and accountability are core Democratic values.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 7 December 2007 Record Debt Increase. After chastising the President and previous Republicancontrolled Congresses for increasing the debt, House and Senate Democrats this week plan to pass a budget conf... Read more