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Republicans Miffed About Analysis of their Job-Destroying Continuing Resolution

Dana Milbank put the notion that the Republican continuing resolution would cost 1 million jobs into the traditional media today, but I actually mentioned it yesterday, based on an Economic Policy Institute study that reached the same conclusions. Needless to say, Republicans aren’t happy about word getting out that their signature policy of the new Congress is to reverse all the job gains of 2010. So they’re attacking the numbers.

The Ways and Means Committee just put out a fact check on the EPI study. It’s not much. They just say it’s “based on a highly simplified economic analysis that has repeatedly been demonstrated to be wildly inaccurate.” To prove this, they go back to the stimulus. They claim that the EPI analysis showed that the stimulus would create up to 5 million jobs in 2009 and 2010. But the economy lost 3.3 million. You see what Ways and Means did there, right? They compared an analysis of the stimulus with the reality of the larger economy. If you look at the jobs the stimulus actually did save or create, the CBO assessed it at 3.3 million by the end of the second quarter of 2010. It’s plausible that there would be at least another million or so in those final 6 months, so EPI’s prediction ends up looking pretty decent.

Ways and Means also criticizes EPI for disagreeing with President Obama on the Korea free trade agreement. The White House says that will create or “support” 70,000 jobs, while EPI sees it as responsible for the loss of 159,000. We’ll see how that one turns out. I don’t think it’ll be good for Ways and Means.

Senate Democrats released a litany of numbers on the House CR proposal as well, which I’ll throw on the flip. “The numbers tell a devastating story about how extreme these cuts are,” Chuck Schumer said in a release.

In addition, Rush Holt and some colleagues found this gem buried in the CR: “During fiscal year 2011, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve may not transfer more than $80,000,000 to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection for activities authorized to be carried out by the Bureau under title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” I can’t see how it’s legal for the Congress to direct the funds inside the Federal Reserve, nominally an independent body. But it’s just another example of what they’re trying to do. I’m not sure this is much of a cut if the CFPB annual appropriation is supposed to be $400 million and this would be $80 million for 2 months and 10 days (the CFPB doesn’t get to the Fed until July 21, and the CR ends on September 30). But it strikes at CFPB funding independence, which is crucial.

Republicans want the public to know they’re “serious” about “cutting the deficit” but they really don’t want the public to know that their plan would a) cost a million jobs and b) not materially impact the deficit in any serious way.

Fact Sheet: House Republicans’ CR Slashes Investments in Jobs, Security and Public Safety

Slashes Funding for Social Security Administration, Meaning Delays for Seniors and Disabled Americans Awaiting Benefits. The House bill cut funding for the Social Security Administration, meaning half a million Americans who are legally entitled to benefits and would otherwise have received them will instead be waiting for them.

Slashes Title I Education Funding, Putting 1 Million Students and 10,000 Jobs at Risk. The House plan cuts an additional $5 billion from the Department of Education, including slashing Title I education funding by nearly $700 million, meaning 2,400 schools serving 1 million disadvantaged students could lose funding, and approximately 10,000 teachers, aides and staff could lose their jobs.

Slashes Maximum Pell Grant Award By $845 Per Student. The House plan will cut the maximum Pell Grant award by $845 from $4,860 to $4,015, a 17 percent cut.

Slashes Head Start By 20%, Eliminating the Program for 218,000 Children and Forcing 55,000 Layoffs. The House bill funds Head Start at $6.1 billion, a cut of nearly $1.1 billion from the FY 2010 enacted level. At the House level, HHS would have to cut approximately 218,000 low-income children and their families, a cut of over 20 percent. This would involve laying off an estimated 55,000 teachers and related staff.

Eliminates Race to the Top & AmeriCorps. The House plan provides no funding to key K-12 priorities, including Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, the Early Learning Challenge Fund. In addition, the House plan eliminates AmeriCorps.

Slashes Food Safety Inspection Funding By $100 Million, Stopping Inspections and Costing the Economy and Businesses $11 Billion. The House plan reduces funding for the Food Safety and Inspection Service by $100 million. This would force many meat and poultry plants to shut down for more than a month during inspector furloughs, resulting in economic losses of approximately $11 billion and potentially leading to a spike in consumer prices.

Slashes Support for the WIC Program, Covering Fewer Women and Children Struggling to Get Back on Their Feet. The House plan reduces funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) by 10%, or nearly $750 million. At this rate, the program would need to dip into contingency funds or turn families away to cover the 9.3 million participants in 2011.

Eliminates the COPS Hiring Program, Keeping Up To 3,000 Officers Off the Streets. By eliminating the COPS Hiring program, the House plan would keep up to 3,000 police officers off our streets.

Slashes EPA Funding By Nearly 30% From Current Levels. The House plan cuts funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 29% from the FY10 enacted level.

Slashes Funding for Renewable Energy By $787 Million. The House bill provides $787 million below the current level for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Furthermore, the bill appears to provide no new funds for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which falls within this account. The bill would significantly delay needed investments in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy R&D, demonstration and deployment programs critical to the transition to a Clean Energy Economy.

Slashes Funding for the SEC & CFTC, Hindering Wall Street Enforcement and Consumer Protections. The House bill provides $188 million less for the Securities and Exchange Commission than the Obama Administration requested for FY11 and $149 million less for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission than the FY11 request, severely impairing SEC’s ability to implement the Dodd-Frank Act.

Slashes Funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Rolling Back Critical Investments in Innovation. The House bill reduces funding for NIST by $223 million below the Obama Administration’s FY11 request and $162 million below FY 2010. This steep reduction could lead to construction halts and damage the Administration’s innovation initiatives.

Slashes Investment in Science Research, Hurting More Than 5,000 Researchers, Teachers and Students. The House bill slashes funding for the National Science Foundation by more than $300 million below current levels. The likely impacts of these cuts are 1,800 fewer research and education grants supporting over 5,000 researchers, teachers, and students, and significant cost and schedule growth for one or more of the major facility construction projects.

Slashes Funding for State and Local FEMA Programs, Impacting First Responders and Homeland Security. The House bill reduces funding for FEMA State and Local Programs by $1.4 billion. This level significantly reduces funding to hire firefighters and other first responders and cuts funding to support port and transit security.

Slashes Funding for Border Technology Initiatives. The House bill reduces funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s border technology initiative by $243 million (including rescissions of prior year amounts). This will result in a slow-down in the deployment of new and much needed border surveillance technologies.

Slashes Investment in Job Training When Workers Need it Most. The House bill cuts funding available to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult, Youth, and Dislocated Worker formula grant programs in FY11 by $1.5 billion from the FY10 enacted level. For Program Year 2011, which begins in July, there is no new funding provided for the Adult or Dislocated Worker programs, which would mean termination of these programs and likely closure of a significant number of the nation’s 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers.

Slashes Economic Development Administration Grants. The House bill cuts funding for Economic Development Administration grant programs by $80 million below the FY10 level, hindering EDA’s ability to promote competitiveness and prepare American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

Slashes More Than $1 Billion from NIH. The House bill slashes $1.3 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which would force NIH to reduce support for more than 25,000 existing research grants and scale back clinical trials and research projects.

Slashes Investment in FAA NextGen, Leading to More Flight Delays and Hurting the Economy. The House bill provides $340 million less funding for the FAA’s NextGen program than the Obama Administration requested for FY11. This funding level will significantly slow efforts to modernize FAA’s air traffic control system, including initiatives to develop satellite-based surveillance of air traffic, data communications capabilities, and efforts to improve aviation weather observations and forecasting. This level will likely jeopardize FAA’s 2018 goals of reducing total flight delays by 21 percent and saving 1.4 billion gallons of fuel.

Zeroes Out Funding for High Speed Rail. The House bill zeroes out funding for High Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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