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Key Vote Alert: Vote “YES” to Amendments to S.Con.Res.5

Feb 4, 2021 by AFP

Dear Senators,

On behalf of activists in all 50 states, Americans for Prosperity will rate the following amendments to the Senate Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 5) 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 agendas of the LIBRE Initiative and Concerned Veterans for America.

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

Health Care 

  • YES – Allow all Americans to save and spend for health care tax-free with a Health Savings Account: Sasse Amendment #194 would enable all Americans (up from about 10% under current law) to have and contribute to a personally owned and portable Health Savings Account. Tax-free HSAs give patients more money for health care and greater control over their medical choices and help reduce health care costs.

Spending  

  • YES – Stop subsidizing politicians: Marshall Amendment #14 would prohibit taxpayer subsidies for political campaigns, thereby ending the practice of forcing Americans to fund political speech they disagree with and consequently saving revenue to be spent more responsibly.
  • YES – Stop distortive and wasteful handouts: Braun Amendment #164 would eliminate subsidies for electric car owners, none of whom should receive a handout from the federal government to purchase a vehicle.
  • YES – Spend more smartly: Braun Amendment #166 would require means testing for Economic Impact Payments so that only those who most need them receive them.
  • YES – Stop unnecessary bailouts for state governments: Lee Amendment #251 would remove funding for federal bailouts to irresponsible state and local governments looking to lean on federal taxpayers for help with their mismanaged pension and rainy-day funds.
  • YES – Give states more autonomy in spending: Portman Amendment #292 would provide more flexibility to states and localities in transportation funding that can help them make smarter, more localized decisions without needless, burdensome interference by the federal government.
  • YES – Eliminate wasteful government spending: Paul Amendment #377 would reduce non-infrastructure expenses by $0.01 for every dollar, saving federal taxpayers billions.
  • YES – Keep COVID relief funding targeted: Young Amendment #540 would prohibit states and localities from using COVID relief funds for non-pandemic-related expenses. As a key institution, government has a role to play in keeping Americans safe and healthy, but relief funding should not creep beyond this goal toward initiatives that are either unrelated to COVID or not the responsibility of the federal government.
  • YES – Stop overspending: Marshall Amendment #9 would prohibit increasing direct spending when the deficit exceeds size of the economy. A national emergency like a pandemic is no excuse to abandon fiscal responsibility.
  • YES – Stop wasting tax dollars on outdated or unnecessarily expensive programs: Paul Amendment #138 would prohibit funding for programs that have expired or exceed their authorized amounts. Small businesses and families must prioritize spending, and so should the federal government.
  • YES – Stop forcing states’ hands: Blackburn Amendment #142 would remove a 60-vote threshold for debating unfunded mandates, thus giving senators more opportunity to debate and discuss federal policies that force states to implement certain programs.
  • YES – Balance federal spending with federal debt: Scott Amendment #382 would require that discretionary spending cuts be made for any increase in the debt limit.
  • YES – Support budget responsibility: Scott Amendment #388 would require the federal budget to be balanced (like every state is required to do) and would ensure that the government does not spend beyond its means.
  • YES – Stop printing more money: Scott Amendment #413 would defend against Modern Monetary Theory being used to justify reckless future monetary and fiscal policy.
  • YES – Be accountable to the public: Scott Amendment #414 would require at least 72 hours before legislation can be voted on, giving both lawmakers and the public a fair chance at comprehensive bill review and response.
  • YES – Prevent budgeting-by-crisis: Lankford Amendment #436 would require automatic continuing appropriations to prevent government shutdowns and help avoid last-minute budgeting.
  • YES – Give Congress sufficient time to plan responsibly: Lummis Amendment #531 would require a biennial budget process that expands the amount of time in which to produce a federal budget.  This would help reduce the risk of massive, late-hour omnibus bills that neither the public nor lawmakers have a chance to read or debate.

Taxes 

  • Defend the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 
    • YES – Crapo Amendment #55 would provide a permanent extension of lower tax rates for individuals and small businesses, helping to keep more money in the pockets of families and businesses.
    • YES – Braun Amendment #167 would provide a permanent extension of deduction for qualified business income.
    • YES – Lankford Amendment #420 would preserve the State and Local Taxes deduction cap of $10,000, thereby requiring lawmakers in high-tax states to answer to their own constituents instead of depending on federal taxpayers to make up the difference.
    • YES – Portman Amendment #548 would disallow an increase in the federal corporate tax rate.
  • YES – Help Americans help their neighbors while keeping their tax burdens lower: Lee Amendment #241 would expand beyond $300 the charitable deduction for taxpayers who do not itemize, first passed in the CARES Act.
  • YES – Keep tax burdens low: Thune Amendment #353 would stop new tax increases during a pandemic, helping families and businesses more quickly get back on their feet.
  • YES – Avoid further complexity in the tax code: Lankford Amendment #422 would prevent retroactive increases on federal income taxes, meaning Americans can keep more of what they’ve earned.
  • YES – Eliminate double taxation: Shelby Amendment #437 would repeal the “Death tax”, which allows the federal government to double-dip on money that has already been taxed before it is handed down through inheritance.
  • YES – Promote smarter infrastructure spending, not higher taxes: Lee Amendment #450 would prohibit raising the federal fuel tax which would only hurt families and small businesses trying to stay afloat.
  • YES – Reject a carbon tax: Cramer Amendment #582 would prohibit a federal carbon emissions tax or fee that would be disproportionately felt by middle- and working-class families and small businesses.
  • YES – Streamline government agencies and let Americans keep more of their money: Romney Amendment #602 would provide for tax cuts by consolidating existing federal programs.

Regulations (Energy and Environment, Housing, Financial) 

  • Yes – Legislative accountability for major rules: Lummis amendment #527 would require Congressional approval for regulations with costs above $100 million.
  • Yes – Limit federal Clean Water Act overreach: Moran amendment #293 would prohibit EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding the definition of “waters of the United States,” preventing federal regulators from running roughshod over state environmental programs and damaging the livelihoods of farmers, ranchers, home builders, and small businesses.
  • Yes – Counteract White House bans on new energy development: Lummis #533 would prohibit permitting barriers and regulations designed to prevent development of energy resources on federal lands and waters.
  • Yes – Eliminate century-old red tape: Lee amendment #259 would repeal the Jones Act, which restricts maritime trade and increases the cost of consumer goods through protectionist mandates.
  • Yes – Avoid top-down policies that reduce housing affordability: Young #325 and #541 would prevent federal policies that increases the costs of housing in the U.S.
  • Yes – Do not threaten the reliability of the electrical grid with new federal permitting: Hoeven Amendment #113 and #120 would prohibit the creation of new Federal environmental permitting or Federal regulatory action that would threaten the reliability of the electrical grid in the United States.
  • Yes – Enable Nuclear Innovation: Risch Amendment #233 would enable streamlining of regulatory and licensing requirements for advanced nuclear reactors.

Labor/Employment 

  • Oppose Minimum Wage Mandates: AFP opposes minimum wage mandates that interfere with freedom of contract and eliminate opportunity for Americans to gain experience and join the workforce.
    • YES. Braun Amendment #49 would create a Point of Order against a private sector mandate related to minimum wage.
    • YES. Risch Amendment #162 would create a Point of Order against $15 minimum wage.
    • YES. Scott Amendment #301 would prohibit increase in the federal minimum wage during national emergency.
    • YES. Round Amendment #440 would create a Point of Order against a provision that would change the federal minimum wage.
  • YES — Support Flexible Work: Scott Amendment #201 would create a Point of Order against using the ABC test for worker classification determinations. This would help prevent new federal employment tests undermining independent contractors’ ability to work.
  • YES — Support Competition, Responsible Government Spending, and Market Wages: Lee Amendment #254 would repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. This would help eliminate wasteful spending in federal construction projects and end favoritism of union labor.

Foreign Policy  

  • YES — End Accounting Gimmicks through the Overseas Contingency Operations Fund: Lee Amendment #246 would restore intended budget oversight by restricting the unlawful, overbroad designation of DOD base budget activities as “contingency operations.”
  • YES — Support Ally Burden Sharing: Lee Amendment #247 would promote burden sharing from wealthy and capable allies who share mutual defense obligations.

Veterans 

YES – Preserve Veterans Community Care Access. Moran Amendments #560 and #562 would preserve veterans’ access to non-VA health care providers. Veterans deserve both health care access and choice regarding where they receive care, the Veterans Community Care Program is vital to giving veterans’ health care options.

Visit our scorecard online at: AFPscorecard.org.

Sincerely,

Brent Gardner

Chief Government Affairs Officer

Americans for Prosperity