August 27, 2014

WASHINGTON BUDGET REPORT: July 29, 2009

WASHINGTON BUDGET REPORT: July 29, 2009
CBO: House Health Reform Bill Would Increase Deficits Beyond 2019 Current Status of Health Care Reform House Passes PAYGO; Senate Outlook Unclear Health Reform Side-by-Side Appropriations Tracker

Announcements

Welcome to the Concord Coalition's weekly Washington Budget Report: a nonpartisan plain English summary of key budget, appropriations, and tax developments. (See updated appropriations numbers below.)

The Concord Coalition Washington Budget Report is written and edited by Charles Konigsberg, Chief Budget Counsel of The Concord Coalition. If you have questions or comments about the Washington Budget Report, contact us at ckonigsberg@concordcoalition.org.

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Budget Process: Step-by-Step

Track 1- Economic Stimulus:

Track 2 - Completion of '09 Appropriations:

Track 3 - FY 2010 Budget [SEE APPROPRIATIONS TRACKER BELOW]:

  • February 26: President Obama transmitted a budget outline.
  • March 20: CBO released its Preliminary Analysis of the President's FY 2010 budget (using CBO economic projections)
  • March 25-26: House Budget Comm. and Senate Budget Comm. marked-up their respective versions of the FY 2010 Congressional Budget Resolution.
  • April 29: House and Senate adopted Budget Resolution Conference Report (S.Con.Res. 13).
  • May 11: Administration released remaining details of President's FY 2010 Budget
  • May-Sept: Action on the 12 regular FY 2010 appropriations bills beginning with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees dividing their respective budget resolution allocations among their 12 subcommittees (known as 302(b) allocations -- see Appropriations Tracker, below)
  • October 15: Budget Resolution deadline for committees to report budget reconciliation legislation (health care reform and student loan reform), although congressional leaders will initially try to move a free-standing health reform bill without budget reconciliation's filibuster-proof protections.

Track 4 - Stabilizing the Financial, Housing, and Auto Sectors (Ongoing)

Track 5 - Health Care Reform [SEE HEALTH REFORM SIDE-BY-SIDE BELOW]:

Track 6 - Climate Change - Energy

  • May 21: House Energy & Commerce Committee passed the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, approving the measure on a nearly party-line vote (33-25). The bill would mandate a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 83% by 2050. To accomplish this, the government would set a cap on the amount of carbon dioxide that could be emitted and would issue allowances to polluting sectors that could buy and sell those rights ("cap-and-trade").
  • June 6: CBO says Waxman-Markey climate bill (HR 2454) would reduce the federal deficit $24 billion over 2010-2019. CBO Report
  • June 17: Senate Energy Committee passed 15-8 a controversial energy bill opposed by many environmental groups Press Release Bill Summary Opposition from Environmental Groups
  • June 26: CBO estimates that the revised Waxman-Markey climate bill (HR 2998) would reduce the federal deficit $9 billion over 2010-2019 (increase revenues from "cap-and-trade" by $873 billion and increase direct (mandatory) spending $864 billion). CBO Report
  • June 26: House narrowly passes Waxman-Markey climate change bill 219-212
  • Senate EPW Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is aiming for a September mark-up of legislation.
  • The Administration wants a bill passed before U.N. climate change talks in Denmark in December.
Track 7 - Highway Bill (FY 2010-15)

  • Leaders of key congressional committees have been negotiating the parameters of the next multiyear highway bill (FY 2010-2015).
  • However, the Obama Administration has signaled an interest in putting off consideration of a multiyear highway bill due to cost issues -- opting instead for an 18-month extension of current law--but even that will require finding $20 billion in revenues, since the federal gas tax is bringing in insufficient revenues to fund highway programs.
  • This Week: The highway trust fund is projected to run out of money this August, making House and Senate action stopgap legislation a priority matter prior to the August recess. (The stopgap measure would likely move general revenues into the highway trust fund.) It is possible that a highway stopgap measure will also include emergency funds for unemployment benefits and Federal Housing Administration mortgage loans.
  • Background.--For the period covered by the budget resolution (2010-2014), Congress allocated $259 billion to the relevant House and Senate Committees for highway and transit spending. This amount reflects a $67 billion increase above the "baseline" level--which is tied to current highway bill spending.
Track 8 - Enacting Statutory PAYGO

Track 9 - Higher Education Reform

  • July 15: House Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-CA) introduced legislation (HR 3221) to convert Federal Family Education Loans (otherwise known as guaranteed student loans) to direct government loans. The budget savings from the student loan reforms would be used to convert Pell Grants into an entitlement program with automatic inflation adjustments.
  • July 21: Mark-up of HR 3221
  • July 24: CBO Cost Estimate for HR 3221
  • CBO, July 2009: Analysis of the Subsidy Costs of Direct and Guaranteed Student Loans
  • Oct. 15: Budget Resolution deadline for committees to report budget reconciliation legislation including student loan and Pell Grant reforms (although congressional committees are first attempting to move free-standing reform legislation without budget reconciliation's filibuster-proof protections.)
Track 10 - Long-Term Deficit Reduction
  • February 23: White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit
  • March 17: Rep. Jim Cooper introduces legislation to establish a commission to reform tax policy and entitlement programs (HR 1557)
  • May 14: Sen. George Voinovich introduces legislation to establish a commission to reform tax policy and entitlement programs (S 1056)
  • July 22: In an interview with the Washington Post President Obama said he would support creation of a "commission or mechanism" to develop recommendations on which Congress would have to act and that "everything is going to have to be on the table." He said after health reform is enacted "then I think we're in a position to be able to, either at the end of this year or early next year, start laying out a broader picture about how we are going to handle entitlements in a serious way."

CBO: House Health Reform Bill Would Increase Deficits Beyond 2019

In a potentially significant projection, the Congressional Budget Office stated in a July 26 letter to House Ways & Means Republicans, that "relative to current law, the (House Tri-Committee health reform bill) would probably generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits during the decade beyond the current 10-year budget window."

This is a significant conclusion for two reasons: (1) for fiscal policy reasons, this casts doubt over the long-term fiscal responsibility of the House plan; and (2) if congressional Democrats have to resort to the use of budget reconciliation (see the "Reconciliation Fallback" below), the CBO statement on outyear deficits may cause key spending provisions in the bill to violate the Senate's Byrd Rule. (The Byrd Rule prohibits filibuster-proof Budget Reconciliation bills from including provisions that would result in outyear deficit increases.)

The most likely way to avoid a CBO projection of outyear deficit increases would be to include in the bill a trigger mechanism that would automatically scale back spending provisions in a manner that would maintain the bill's deficit neutrality. (The Senate Finance Committee's Moynihan-Chafee health reform bill in 1994 included such a provision and CBO has suggested that the Administration's Independent Medicare Advisory Council proposal--IMAC--could result in long-term budgetary savings if it were to include a fall-back mechanism. See article below.)

CBO's rationale for their outyear projections was the following:

"Estimating the effects of major changes to the health care and health insurance systems over the next 10 years is very difficult and involves substantial uncertainty....As a result, CBO does not provide formal cost estimates beyond the 10-year budget window. However, we have said that in evaluating proposals to reform health care, the agency will endeavor to offer a qualitative indication of whether they would be more likely to increase or decrease the budget deficit over the second decade.

"The starting point for such an analysis of the recent House proposal is our estimate of the proposal’s impact on the federal budget deficit in the first 10 years. As discussed in CBO’s letter of July 17, we estimate that the proposal as a whole would increase federal deficits by $239 billion over the 2010–2019 period. That estimate has three major components: the net effect of the coverage specifications, which affect both spending and revenues and which would add an estimated $1,042 billion to cumulative deficits over that period; the effect of other provisions, primarily regarding Medicare, that would reduce direct spending by a net $219 billion; and the effect of still other provisions (primarily, an income tax surcharge on high-income individuals) that would increase revenues by $583 billion. Under the proposal, federal spending on health care would increase by approximately the difference between the net cost of the coverage specifications and the reductions in direct spending.

"Looking ahead to the decade beyond 2019, CBO tries to evaluate the rate at which the budgetary impact of each of those broad categories would be likely to change over time. The net cost of the coverage provisions would be growing at a rate of more than 8 percent per year in nominal terms between 2017 and 2019; we would anticipate a similar trend in the subsequent decade. The reductions in direct spending would also be larger in the second decade than in the first, and they would represent an increasing share of spending on Medicare over that period; however, they would be much smaller at the end of the 10-year budget window than the cost of the coverage provisions, so they would not be likely to keep pace in dollar terms with the rising cost of the coverage expansion. Revenue from the surcharge on high-income individuals would be growing at about 5 percent per year in nominal terms between 2017 and 2019; that component would continue to grow at a slower rate than the cost of the coverage expansion in the following decade. In sum, relative to current law, the proposal would probably generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits during the decade beyond the current 10-year budget window. (emphasis added)

"Under any proposal that provided new federal subsidies for the purchase of health insurance, the rate of growth in federal spending would depend importantly on how the subsidies were indexed over time. As long as overall spending for health care continued to expand as a share of the economy, people’s share of insurance costs would continue to rise faster than their income, or the government’s subsidy costs would continue to rise faster than the tax base, or both. The proposal limits the share of income that eligible people would have to pay when they purchased coverage in the insurance exchanges, and that share of income would not change over time. In addition, insurance plans offered through the exchanges would be required to pay a specified share of costs for covered services (on average), and that share also would not change over time. Combining those provisions, increases in health care spending in excess of the rate of growth in income would be borne entirely by the federal government in the form of higher subsidy payments—because those payments would have to cover the entire difference between the total premium for insurance coverage and the capped amount that enrollees would pay. Those factors help explain why the costs of the coverage provisions would continue to grow rapidly in the decade after 2019."

Full Text of CBO Letter

Current Status of Health Care Reform

Current Status of Health Care Reform -- Highlights:

  • With the House heading toward August recess at the end of this week, the Democrats' Tri-Committee bill (which has passed the Ways & Means, and Education and Labor Committees) is stalled in the Energy and Commerce Committee where Blue Dog Democrats are seeking provisions to ensure slower growth in health care spending.

  • According to Congress Daily, Senate Finance Committee Democrats are reportedly warming to a proposal to tax insurance companies that sell the most expensive healthcare coverage (e.g. plans valued at more than $25,000 per year). This has a similar objective to earlier proposals to tax employer health benefits above a certain threshold--but seeks to avoid a direct tax on employees.

  • If the Senate Finance Committee bipartisan working group can reach closure on its lengthy negotiations, it faces major hurdles in passing the bill out of committee and, later on, the informal process of "merging" its bipartisan plan with the (Kennedy-Dodd) plan passed by the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee.

  • The Reconciliation Fallback: Looming ever-closer is the October 15, 2009 deadline for congressional committees to utilize the budget reconciliation process that would allow them to fast-track a filibuster-proof health care reform bill through Congress. Three scenarios could lead to the use of budget reconciliation: (1) House Democrats are unable to achieve consensus on the Tri-Committee bill due to Blue Dog concerns about the bill's fiscal responsibility; (2) Senate Democrats are unable to merge the product of the Finance Committee bipartisan working group and the HELP Committee bill; or (3) House Progressive Caucus Democrats are unable to sign on to a bipartisan bill agreed to in the Senate. If the Reconciliation mechanism is used, health reform will become a Democrats-only bill with leadership struggling to achieve 218 votes in the House and 50 votes in the Senate (similar to the Budget Reconciliation bill of 1993). In general, the advantage of Reconciliation is its immunity from filibuster; the disadvantage is that bill opponents could use the "Byrd Rule" to strip out all "non-budgetary" policy provisions.

  • The $2 billion projection for IMAC.--On July 25, CBO Director Elmendorf released a much discussed letter on an Administration proposal for an Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC) that would allow the President to make changes in Medicare payment rates and policies based on recommendations from an advisory panel of experts--subject to Congress passing a law overturning the new rates or policies. The CBO letter states that "expanding the authority of the President to effect change in the Medicare program might lead to significant long-term savings in federal spending on health care." Oddly, the CBO letter then proceeds to suggest the seemingly contradictory assessment that enactment of an executive branch Medicare Advisory Council would yield savings of only $2 billion over the 2010-2019 period but "the probability is high that no savings would be realized...but there is also a chance that substantial savings might be realized." Unfortunately, the general media has focused on the "$2 billion" estimate rather than CBO's latter observation, i.e., "a chance that substantial savings might be realized."

  • If one reads the entire letter, CBO lays out specifications for an advisory council that would enable it to achieve "substantial savings." These include a "fall-back" mechanism for instituting across-the-board cuts in Medicare when cost saving targets are not reached. With such a mechanism "CBO believes such a council would identify steps that could eventually achieve annual savings equivalent to several percent of total spending on Medicare." CBO also recommends establishing statutory targets for Medicare cost reduction; and ensuring that the council includes health policy experts and is not "weighted toward medical providers." Text of CBO letter
  • The August "deadline."--Much of the media has focused on Congress not passing a bill by President Obama's "August deadline." However, there was never any possibility of an issue this complex -- substantively and politically -- being completed by the August recess. The President pressed for House and Senate action by August as a means of lighting a fire under Congress. Legislation is unlikely to be completed until the Thanksgiving or Christmas recess -- which does not reflect failure; it reflects the reality of the bill's complexity.

House Passes PAYGO; Senate Outlook Unclear

On July 22, 2009, the House passed HR 2920, a bill to enact into law a new PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) requirement by a mostly party-line vote of 265-166. In general, Democrats supported the bill arguing it would keep current deficit projections from getting worse. Republicans generally opposed the bill arguing it wouldn't do anything to improve the high deficits already facing the nation.

During the course of the debate, Republicans offered a substitute amendment calling for discretionary spending caps, and limits on total spending and total deficits as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). The substitute was defeated 169-259. Summary of GOP substitute

Unclear if Senate will take up bill.--According to Congressional Quarterly, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) continues to oppose the bill because it would exempt the cost of four major items: extending the middle class tax cuts scheduled to expire in 2010; keeping the AMT from impacting middle class taxpayers; holding the estate tax at its current (2009) rate; and preventing scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to physicians. Moreover, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said "I can't see how we'd work that in before August and, man, there's so many things waiting for us when we get back."

President's PAYGO Announcement at the White House (C-SPAN)

Concord Coalition Issue Brief on Administration Proposal

CBO Analysis of HR 2920

Bill Text as Passed by the House

Health Reform Side-by-Side

Currently pending are three major health reform measures at various stages of development:

  1. A tri-committee House plan (Ways & Means/Rangel, Energy & Commerce/Waxman, and Education and Labor/Miller). CBO Cost Estimate JCT Revenue Estimate Letter to House GOP

  2. A Senate HELP Committee Democratic plan (Kennedy-Dodd) was voted out of committee on July 15, 2009. HELP Committee Release

  3. A Senate Finance Committee bipartisan plan (Baucus/Grassley) is under development. Other participants in the working group are Democratic Senators Conrad (who also chairs the Budget Committee) and Bingaman; and Republican Senators Snowe and Enzi (who is ranking on the HELP Committee). Republican Senate Orrin Hatch withdrew from the working group.

 

Senate Finance

Senate HELP

House Tri-Committee

Individual mandate to purchase health insurance, w/ tax penalties for non-compliance

 


 

Yes

 

Yes

Prohibition on denying coverage due to pre-existing condition

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

Creates a "health insurance exchange" where individuals can compare a basic package of benefits and purchase coverage

Yes: state-based exchanges w/ a federal fallback

Yes

Yes

Subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance through the "exchange"

Provide "exchange credits" on sliding scale from 133-300% of FPL*

Up to 400% of FPL*

Up to 400% of FPL*


Regulate pricing and terms of private health insurance policies


Yes

Yes


Expand Medicaid eligibility?


For 100-133% of FPL, a choice between Medicaid & Exchange


Not addressed
because Medicaid is Finance Comm. jurisdiction


Significantly expand Medicaid eligibility


Number of Uninsured Reduced by:

Uninsured reduced by 37 million (leaving 17 million, 1/2 of which are illegal aliens)


Public insurance plan to be one of the health exchange options?


Developing a state-based co-op model in lieu of public plan


Public option
(Community Health Insurance Plan to be administered by a nonprofit entity)


Public option


"Super MedPAC"-- creates executive branch advisory council to recommend Medicare reforms to President (with authority to implement absent congressional override)


Yes

No

No

Employer Mandate: Employers required to provide coverage?



Special provisions for small businesses?

Employers not offering insurance pay subsidy



50 employee exemption

Employers w/ more than 25 workers: provide insurance or pay $750 per worker

25 employee exemption

Provide coverage or pay 8% of payroll into trust fund



Tax credits for small businesses


10-year cost

 


Net deficit impact over 10 years

 


Aiming for less than $1 trillion



Aiming for deficit neutrality


$611 b (not including Medicaid expansion)


Aiming for deficit neutral bill after "merging" w/ finance committee plan


$1.042 trillion




$239 billion net deficit increase

Offsets to pay for the bill

 

Under discussion: (1) Medicare savings; (2) unspecified tax increases amounting to $320 billion

To be determined, but Dodd says no to health benefits tax

Surtax on upper income earners generating $583 b;

Trigger--surtax amounts would increase in 2013 if spending savings not realized.

Medicare and Medicaid reforms saving $219 b

 

*FPL: Federal Poverty Level


Appropriations Tracker

REVISED House Subcommittee (302(b) Allocations

Senate Subcommittee (302(b) Allocations

**Click on the dates below for links to bill summaries**

 

House

Senate

Bill

Sub.

Comm

Floor

Sub.

Comm

Floor

Agriculture

6/11

6/18

7/9

*

7/7

 

CJS

6/4

6/9

6/18

6/24

6/25

 

Defense

7/16

7/22

 

 

 

 

Energy-Water

6/25

7/8

7/17

7/8

7/9

**

Financial

6/25

7/7

7/16

7/8

7/9

 

Homeland

6/8

6/12

6/24

6/17

6/18

7/9

Interior-Env

6/10

6/18

6/26

6/23

6/25

 

Labor-HHS

7/10

7/17

7/24

**

 

 

Legislative

6/9

6/12

6/19

*

6/18

7/6

Mil Con-VA

6/16

6/23

7/10

7/6

7/7

 

State-For Op

6/17

6/23

7/9

*

7/9

 

Transp-HUD

7/13

7/17

7/23

**

 

 

*polled out (no formal subcommittee vote)

**scheduled for action this week

IN GENERAL.--Republicans had been attempting to "filibuster by amendment" due to concerns about excessive spending levels, but Democrats have adopted "modified closed rules" that strictly limit amendments.

Congressional appropriators also face the task of reconciling the President's FY 2010 discretionary funding requests that total $9 billion more than the amount allowed by the FY 2010 congressional budget resolution (see April 30, 2009 WBR). Appropriators will also have to decide whether to accept the $17 billion in program reductions and terminations proposed by the Administration (see May 11, 2009 WBR). Obama Administration's proposed "Terminations, Reductions, and Savings"

EARMARK DISCLOSURE: Earmark lists are available on the House Appropriations subcommittee websites and Senate earmark requests are linked to on the Senate Appropriations website.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Following are LINKS to the latest congressional action, plus a sampling of issues facing the appropriators as reported by Congressional Quarterly and Congress Daily. The numbers in parentheses are the FY 2009 regular appropriations level in billions (not including stimulus funds); the President's FY 2010 request; the House FY 2010 level; and the Senate FY 2010 level. The OMB Statements of Administration Policy (SAPS) on the Appropriations Bills are available by clicking here.

1. AGRICULTURE ($20.6 / P-$23.0 / H-$22.9 / S-$23.7) -- Major issues include increasing FDA funding; overhaul of the food safety system; whether to continue a ban on importation of Chinese poultry; a controversial animal identification system that grew out of concerns about mad cow disease; and the President's proposal to end direct payments to farmers with more than $500,000 in annual sales revenue. Summary Table House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary


2. COMMERCE-JUSTICE-SCIENCE ($57.7 / P-$64.6 / H-64.4 / S-$64.9) -- Major issues include the President's proposed 7% increase over the current year; funds to close Gitmo; a major Southwest Border Initiative; readiness of the Census Bureau for the upcoming census; NASA's post-space shuttle priorities; and a program to help states defray the costs of jailing illegal immigrants convicted of crimes. Summary Table House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary

3. DEFENSE ($631.9 / P-$640.1 / H-636.3) not including military construction and housing which are funded in the Mil Con-VA bill -- Major issues include terminating the F-22 fighter program which has been plagued with operational problems and cost over-runs; funding for a 2d engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Figher program; funding for the C-17 transport plane, the VH-71 presidential helicopter and the Missile Defense Agency's Kinetic Energy Interceptor--all of which the Administration wants to end; proposed cuts in the Army's Future Combat Systems; and rising personnel costs. (Note: the Administration has threatened to veto the Defense Authorization bills if they authorize further funds for the F-22 or disrupt the F-35 program.) House Bill Summary

4. ENERGY-WATER ($33.2 / P-$34.4 / H-$33.3 / S-$34.3) -- Major issues include how to fund the backlog of Army Corps water infrastructure projects; Defense environmental clean-up; funding for the Administration's "Re-Energyse" proposal (energy innovation centers); how to continue the big boost in renewable energy research after the stimulus bill's funds run out; funds to dispose of weapons grade plutonium under a new agreement with Russia; streamlining approval of new nuclear reactors; and the President's proposal to cut funding for the proposed nuclear waste facility at Yucca Mountain. House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary

5. FINANCIAL SERVICES-GENERAL GOVT ($22.6 / P-$24.2 / H-$24.15 / S-$24.4) -- Major issues include U.S. policy toward Cuba; education vouchers in the District of Columbia; IRS funding; funding for states to upgrade voting equipment; and a provision requiring GM and Chrysler to reinstitute agreements with certain auto dealerships. Summary Table House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary

6. HOMELAND SECURITY ($40.0 / P-$42.8 / H-$42.6 / S-$42.9) -- Major issues include funding efforts to find and deport illegal immigrants; whether to further fortify the fence being built along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border; whether to bar release of photos of terrorism detainees; allowing Gitmo detainees into the U.S.; whether the proposal to cut the DHS budget starting in 2012 is realistic; the system for providing federal disaster relief; reorganizing the Federal Protective Service; continuing an "antiquated" Coast Guard navigation system; and increased funding for road and rail security. House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary

7. INTERIOR-ENVIRONMENT ($27.6 / P-$32.3 / H-$32.3 / S-$32.1) -- Major issues include boosting EPA funding; earmarks for water projects; eliminating a program to clean up diesel engines in California; adequacy of wildfire funding; drilling in federal lands and waters; and new taxes and fees on the oil and gas industry. House Summary Table House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary

8. LABOR-HHS-EDUCATION ($155 / P-$160.7 / H-$160.6 / S-$163.1) -- Major issues include rejecting the Administration's request to target NIH money at specific diseases; modifications and funding increases for the Pell Grant program; funding for school construction; increased funding for OSHA and LIHEAP; lifting a prohibition on federal funds for needle exchange; and eliminating abstinence-only sex education programs. Summary Table House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary

9. LEGISLATIVE BRANCH ($4.3 / H-$4.9 / S-$4.5) -- Major issues include creating a fund to pay for renovation of the Capitol and House and Senate office building; and requests for more staffing at CBO and GAO. House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary

10. MILITARY CONSTRUCTION - VA ($72.9 / P-$77.7 / $H-77.9 / S-$76.7) -- Major issues include advance appropriating FY 2011 funds for VA health care; BRAC funding; housing for trainees; more funds for VA health care for treatment that is not service-connected; and funding for Guard and Reserve initiatives. (Since Jan. 2007, Congress will have increased the baseline for the VA by $20 b, a 58% increase.) House Bill Summary House Summary Table Senate Bill Summary

11. STATE-FOREIGN OPERATIONS ($50.0 / P-$52.0 / H-$48.8 / S-$48.7) -- Major issues include the President's proposed 9% increase for the State Dept. and foreign aid programs; conditions attached to funds for the World Bank and IMF; dropping the "Mexico City" policy that prohibited use of international family planning funds for abortion; funding for Millennium Challenge Corporation (aimed at countries that adopt democratic and free-market policies); and funding for the U.N. Population Fund (which is strongly opposed by anti-abortion groups). House Bill Summary Senate Bill Summary

12. TRANSPORTATION-HUD ($55.0 / P-$108.3 / H-68.8) -- Major issues include how to make up the shortfall in gasoline tax revenues flowing into the highway trust fund; funding for high speed passenger rail and a national infrastructure bank; funding for a new air traffic control system; additional funding for low-income housing rental vouchers; increasing loan guarantees through the FHA; and capital and safety improvements to Washington's metrorail system. House Bill Summary