Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Taxpayer's Tab -- the weekly newsletter for up-to-the-minute research from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's BillTally Project.
Since 1991, NTUF has computed the legislative spending agendas of Members of Congress by analyzing the costs -- and savings -- of the bills that they sponsor and cosponsor. Our goal is to provide you with objective information about what Congress wants to do with your tax dollars in an open and transparent manner.
Each week, NTUF will bring you updates on the week's most and least expensive
bills, the ones with the most cosponsors ("the most friended"), and a
few bills we've termed Wildcards -- bills that we think
you might find interesting.
For more information on the National Taxpayers Union Foundation
or the BillTally
Project, check out our website and methodology.
Most Expensive Bill of the Week
5476/S. 3079, Building Star Energy Efficiency Act
The cost: $3 billion in new spending over 2 years
The bill establishes the Building Star Program, which would issue rebates for qualified energy services in existing commercial buildings and multifamily residential
buildings. H.R. 5476 would help oversee and facilitate the
retrofitting of buildings ranging from factories to apartment
high-rises for better environmental efficiency. The bill
includes a mix of loans and tax incentives through both
state and federally based programs.
groups such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of
America cite a wage provision as a "non-starter" because
it expands the commercial and environmental legislation
known as Davis-Bacon into labor practices. Other
such as the National Electrical Contractors Association,
support H.R. 5476 claiming that it would create 187,000 jobs
and save $3.3 billion annually in energy bills. NECA says
the recession is having a detrimental effect on their industry
with 1.7 million electricians out of work.
Least Expensive Bill
of the Week
4960, To eliminate sweetheart deals under the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPAC) Act
Savings: Saves $2.9 billion over the next 2 fiscal years
When the PPAC Act was enacted in March of this year, certain
provisions were included which directed taxpayer dollars
to several state-specific projects and situations. The $2.9 billion in savings would come from repealing
seven different parts of the PPAC, including the building of a hospital in Connecticut, providing Hawaii,
Louisiana, and Tennessee with Disproportionate Share Hospital
(DSH) funds, and increased Medicare reimbursements to Frontier
Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-13), who sponsored
the legislation, says the "bill will not affect the
content of the overall health care bill" but will
eliminate "taxpayer boondoggles" made in the
Similar legislation was attached as amendments to the
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (H.R. 4872)
by Senators Charles Grassley (IA) and John McCain (AZ),
though the provisions were ultimately not included in the final bill.
bill: H.R. 5462/S. 4379, Birth Defects Prevention, Risk
Reduction, and Awareness Act
Number of cosponsors: 33 Congressmen and 7 Senators
Promoting increased awareness in the health care community
and at-risk populations about pregnancy and breastfeeding
services, H.R. 5462 would authorize $35 million over the
next five years for a nationwide media campaign and research
grants that would examine the factors that may influence the
risk of birth defects, premature births, and adverse pregnancy
House cosponsors include a broad range of Representatives
from both parties and different geographical areas.