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AFP Key Votes Senate Amendments to Budget Reconciliation Package

Mar 5, 2021 by AFP

Dear Senators,

On behalf of activists in all 50 states, Americans for Prosperity will rate the following amendments to the so-called American Rescue Plan Act in our legislative scorecard. The following amendments align with the priorities that AFP has laid out in our 2021 “Save Lives, Save Livelihoods” Policy Agenda in addition to the policy agenda of the LIBRE Initiative.

I strongly urge you to vote YES on the following amendments (or substantially similar ones):

 

Reject state and local bailouts:

  • YES – Crapo #950 reduces funding for the state and local fiscal recovery funds, which are bailouts to mostly fiscally irresponsible states and localities.
  • YES – Daines #955 eliminates the state and local fiscal recovery funds.
  • YES – Braun #982 strikes Subtitle M of Title IX (the state and local recovery funds).
  • YES – Young MTC to Finance Committee to prohibit state and local funding to bail out states for non-COVID issues.
  • YES – Hagerty #892 removes billions in transportation agency bailouts for states and localities that failed to adjust their operations and constrain costs. This funding is on top of $40 billion provided in previous pandemic assistance and is unnecessary.

 

Expand Access to Health Savings Accounts:

  • YES – Sasse #988 Eliminate HSA requirement of high-deductible plans, expand contribution limits. This would enable all Americans (up from about 10% under current law) to have and contribute to a personally owned and portable Health Savings Account. The amendment would also increase the amount of money Americans can save for health care, tax-free. HSAs give patients more money for health care and greater control over their medical choices and help reduce health care costs.
  • YES – Sasse MTC to Expand HSAs to uninsured in Sec. 9663: This Sasse MTC would guarantee to Americans who are unemployed and uninsured during the pandemic the right to save and spend for health care using a tax-free Health Savings Account. Under current law, the uninsured have no such right. HSAs give patients more money for health care and greater control over their medical choices and help reduce health care costs.

 

Spend tax dollars more wisely:

  • YES – Marshall #933 prohibits relief funding until all previously provided COVID relief has been obligated. As over $4 trillion has already been authorized in the last year and $1 trillion having been unspent, Congress should prioritize reprogramming such funds and doing so for timely and targeted relief only.
  • YES – Scott #940 halts funding disbursement for programs for which previous funding remains unspent.
  • YES – Johnson #995 reduces budget authority by the amount of unobligated funds from previous COVID laws.
  • YES – Young MTC to end funds 60 days after COVID national emergency ends.

 

Keep relief targeted only to those truly in need:

  • YES – Daines #958 strikes the provision relating to unnecessary farm loan assistance.
  • YES – Toomey #1010 strikes the provision for unnecessary farm loan assistance.
  • YES – Toomey #1011 caps unnecessary assistance to farmers and ranchers.
  • YES – Toomey #1013 ensures that recovery rebates are not provided to people with no lost income.

 

Remove unnecessary funding for unrelated infrastructure programs:

  • YES – Hagerty #893 removes $1.7 million in grants to Amtrak, which is unused by the vast majority of Americans, loses ridership each year, and assistance for which has no reason to be included in a relief package.
  • YES – Daines #959 removes funding for certain Capital Investment Grants projects, most of which are expensive infrastructure boondoggles.

 

Reject unnecessary handouts for federal employees:

  • YES – Hagerty #900 repurposes the Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund for vaccine distribution.
  • YES – Braun #983 ensures that recovery rebates are not provided to federal employees.
  • YES – Toomey #1009 eliminates the Emergency Federal Employee Leave Program.

 

Eliminate wasteful spending on programs unrelated to COVID relief: These programs receive funding through the normal appropriations process.

  • YES – Johnson #935 reduces funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • YES – Johnson #936 reduces funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • YES – Johnson #938 reduces funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • YES – Johnson #993 strikes funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
  • YES – Blackburn #997 eliminates funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • YES – Blackburn #998 eliminates funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • YES – Blackburn #999 eliminates funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • YES – Crapo MTC to Finance Committee to eliminate non-COVID-related policies.

 

Reject carveouts to select industries:

  • YES – Ernst #922 Eliminate tax credit for new qualified plug-in electric vehicles.
  • YES – Scott MTC to Commerce Committee to prevent subsidies for solar panels

 

Remove Funds for Implementing Piecemeal Green New Deal

  • YES – Hagerty #899, #909 and Johnson #994 would remove funding for environmental regulations unrelated to COVID-19.

 

Enable Energy Infrastructure:

  • YES – Daines #960 requires the President to review and approve international pipeline permits.

 

Remove Pension Bailouts: Remove provisions that bailout multiemployer pension plans, which have been in distress for years due to poor management.  This has nothing to do with coronavirus and further supports an already financially troubled pension plan.

  • YES – Grassley MTC to Finance to include pension reforms and long-term solvency of multiemployer pensions.
  • YES – Paul #1015 Strikes Sec. 9704 to bailout multiemployer pensions.

 

Modify supplemental unemployment insurance: Modify provisions that allow supplemental unemployment insurance benefits to exceed what some people were being paid to work before the pandemic, putting them in a difficult position and making it costlier for businesses to hire them. Congress should help those who have lost their jobs without making it harder for them to reenter the workforce and our economy to recover.

  • YES – Braun #992 Provide cap on temporary increased unemployment compensation benefits.
  • YES – Tillis #1007 Cap Unemployment Insurance Benefits at Prior Wages.

 

Americans for Prosperity will include these, or substantially similar, votes in our legislative scorecard.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Brent Gardner

Chief Government Affairs Officer

Americans for Prosperity