Yesterday, the Rossi campaign told PubliCola that the Murray amendment came with "permanent taxes," but that criticism fell a little flat because the taxes aren't increases. Rather, as Bryce reported yesterday, they are $9.6 billion in closed tax loopholes.
But now, as the PI reports, Murray is getting criticized from the left because the amendment also relies on cuts to food stamps—$11.9 billion.
Murray's office in D.C. tells PubliCola that Murray is a strong supporter of the food stamp program—they say Murray's family relied on food stamps when she was growing up.
"This rolls back some of the increases in food stamps that were put in the [stimulus] act that weren't set to kick in until 2014," says Murray spokesman Eli Zupnick. "This money [Murray's $26 billion] redirects future food stamp money to help communities and families now."
Of course, the hope is that the economy will improve by 2014, and the extra food stamp money from the stimulus bill won't be needed anyway.
As long as we're putting this bill under the microscope, let's get it all out there.
In addition to the food stamp cuts and closing the corporate tax loopholes, here's how Sen. Murray is paying for the bill.
(And note, there is some irony here. Murray was criticized for not finding offsets for the earlier unemployment insurance bill. Now, she's being criticized for funding her Medicaid and education funding bill with offsets):
1) There's $2 billion from a list of drugs on which the government is using its bargaining power to get lower prices on Medicaid scrips.
2) There's $7.5 billion from stimulus dollars that weren't going to be spent this year, military programs that aren't needed this year, and other agency cuts where the money wasn't needed this year, according to Murray's office.
Here's the list:
· $302 million in Recovery Act funding provided to the Department of Commerce for broadband grants.
· $260.5 million in Recovery Act funding provided to the Department of Defense.
· $1.8 billion in funds appropriated to the Department of Defense for programs that have been terminated or for systems that are no longer needed.
· $2.2 billion in highway contract authority.
· $18 million in funding appropriated to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
· $20 million from the Department of Energy for nuclear energy.
· $1.5 billion from Recovery Act funding for the Department of Energy.
· $100 million in funding appropriated to the General Services Administration.
· $28.6 million in Recovery Act funding appropriated to the Department of Interior and the EPA.
· $14.2 million in funding provided in as early as 2004 to the National Park Service and the Fish & Wildlife Service.
· $500 million in funds appropriated to the Department of Defense for military construction projects that achieved bid savings.
· $6 million in funds appropriated in 1995 to the Department of Health and Human Services.
· $47 million in Recovery Act funding to the Commissioner of Social Security.
· $82 million from the Department of Education Student Aid Administration.
· $50 million in funding from the Department of Education for literacy.
· $10.7 million in other Department of Education rescissions (budget items that are no longer needed).
· $6.1 million in Recovery Act funding provided to the Department of Veterans Affairs for which the purpose has been completed.
· $50 million in funding appropriated for the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
· $70 million in funding appropriated to the Department of State and USAID for the Civilian Stabilization Initiative.
· $7.9 million in funds appropriated in 2004 and 2006 to the Federal Aviation Administration.
· $115 million in other Recovery Act rescissions.
· $122 million in funding provided to the Department of Agriculture for past emergencies.