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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Budget And Accounting Transparency Act Of 2014 April 7, 2014
Scott Garrett, R-NJ
"Dear Chairman Ryan: I am writing to express my support for H.R. 3581, “The Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2011,” in particular those provisions that would incorporate fair value accounting (FVA) into the federal budget process. As you are well aware, a core objective in federal budgeting is to accurately display the scale and timing of the expenditure of taxpayer resources. Since sovereign tax and borrowing powers should always be used judiciously, there is a premium on doing so as accurately as possible. In some cases this is straightforward. Consider, for example, a discretionary appropriation. The scale of the overall commitment is clear and in some cases it is straightforward to budget the timing of the ultimate outlays as well. Federal credit programs, however, present particular difficulties. The timing of budgetary cash flows differs dramatically between direct loans and federal loan guarantees—even in cases when the ultimate economic impact is identical. The Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (FCRA) took an important step forward by equalizing the timing of their budgetary treatment. Direct loans and loan guarantees are both recorded in the budget during the year in which the commitment is incurred, regardless of the duration and timing of the federal assistance. This was an important step in the right direction. However, estimating the scale of required taxpayer resources remains problematic. In particular, the ability of loan recipients to make timely and complete repayments will be influenced by future individual, household, and economy-wide economic conditions. In the same way, the obligation of the federal government to undertake guarantee payments will be driven by similar forces. While such future individual and economic conditions are uncertain, reliable techniques exist to estimate the likely size of the taxpayer obligation. Unfortunately, FCRA needlessly restricts the analyses to credit risk—the probability of failure to fully repay—while ignoring the fact that the timing of those failures matters enormously. As the past few years have starkly reminded every American, the need to tax, borrow and otherwise deprive the private sector of another dollar has far greater implications during the depths of economic distress than during periods of robust economic growth. Adoption of FVA would rectify this oversight I recognize that significant reform to budget procedures should not be undertaken lightly. However, my views are informed by the fact that during my tenure as director, the Congressional Budget Office undertook a number of studies of the implications of accounting fully for economic risks in the budgetary treatment of financial commitments like credit programs. In example after example (pension guarantees; deposit insurance; flood insurance; student loans; and assistance for Chrysler and America West Airlines), it becomes clear that an incomplete assessment of risks leads to misleading budget presentations and may engender poor policy decisions. FVA would be a significant step toward improving this informational deficit. My views are echoed by a wide array of budget experts. In March 2010, CBO issued a new report recommending the use of FVA for federal student loan programs on the grounds that budget rules do “not include the costs to taxpayers that stem from certain risks involved in lending.” In addition, the Pew-Peterson Commission on Budget Reform proposed “fair- value accounting” for credit programs and the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform advocated for reform of budget concepts that would more accurately reflect costs. In addition to these research views, there is a track record of success. FVA has already been used successfully for the budgetary treatment of the Temporary Asset Relief Program of 2008 (TARP) and the federal assistance to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Last but not least, H.R. 3581 would also fix another shortcoming of FCRA; namely that the administrative costs associated with federal operations are not included in the budget cost and must be provided for elsewhere. H.R. 3581 would require that administrative costs (called “essential preservation services”) to be accounted for up-front, thereby balancing the playing field. In sum, I believe that the Congress should adopt fair value accounting and, in particular, pass H.R. 3581 in a timely fashion. I would be happy to discuss any aspect of this issue in greater detail. Sincerely, Douglas Holtz-Eakin."
Executive Needs To Faithfully Observe And Respect Congressional Enactments Of The Law Act Of 2014 March 12, 2014
Robert Goodlatte, R-VA
"Counsel: [*1] For John Conyers, Jr., John D. Dingell, Honorable, Representing Michigan’s 15th District, Charles B. Rangel, Representing New York’s 15th district, George Miller, Honorable, Representing California’s 7th District, James L. Oberstar, Honorable, Representing Minnesota’s 8th District, Barney Frank, Honorable, Representing Massachusetts’ 4th District, Collin C. Peterson, Honorable, Representing Minnesota’s 7th District, Bennie Thompson, Honorable, Representing Mississippi’s 2nd District, Fortney Pete Stark, Honorable, Representing California’s 13th District, Sherrod Brown, Honorable, Representing New York’s 29th District, Louise M. Slaughter, Honorable, Representing New York’s 28th District, Plaintiffs: Mayer Morganroth, Lead Attorney, Morganroth and Morganroth, Southfield, MI. For George W. Bush, President of the United States, Mike Johanns, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Carlos Guiterrez, Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Margaret Spellings, Secretary of the Department of Education, Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of the [*2] Department of Housing and Urban Development, Norman Mineta, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, John Snow, Secretary of the Treasury, Bradley D. Belt, Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Leonidas Ralph Mecham, Director, Administrative Office of the United States Courts; Defendants: Brian G. Kennedy, U.S. Department of Justice (Civil Division), Washington, DC. For John F. Bovenzi, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Thomas Holzman, Lead Attorney, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (Arlington), Arlington, Va. Judges: Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds, United States District Judge. Opinion by: Nancy G. Edmunds. Opinion: Order Granting Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss [17, "
Honoring Norm Harty February 25, 2014
Jason Smith, R-MO
" Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Norm Harty, who nearly 50 years ago pioneered the technique of using dynamite to clean the inside of a power plant boiler, in order to remove slag deposit. Power plants burning any type of fuel, except natural gas, eventually build ash that creates slag deposits on the tubes running through boilers. This build up can create inefficiency in the operation of a power plant, requiring more fuel to be used to reach the same output a clean boiler could produce, not to mention being a safety hazard as well. The advances Norm and his company helped create in boiler cleaning technology have made their mark."
Recognizing National Accredited Ach Professional Day February 11, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"The ACH Network, administered by NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association, provides for the efficient exchange of direct account-to-account payments for consumers, businesses, and governments. Annually, it processes more than 21 billion electronic payments—including more than 5 billion Direct Deposit transactions—totaling almost $37 trillion. Through their expertise, AAPs help safeguard the quality of the ACH Network and the billions of transactions that flow through it. To be awarded the AAP credential, individuals must pass a comprehensive exam, which is administered by NACHA each fall. The exam tests an individual’s knowledge of a variety of subjects including the NACHA Operating Rules, the ACH Network and other payments systems, technical and operational ACH requirements, risk management, and payments-related regulations. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in commending the more than four thousand AAPs nationwide by recognizing today as National Accredited ACH Professional Day."
Agricultural Act Of 2014—Conference Report February 3, 2014
Mike Lee, R-UT
"The true cost of that transaction—just another forced deposit and withdrawal from Washington’s dysfunctional favored bank—is a lot more than $956 billion. The true cost of this kind of unequal cronyist policymaking is the trust of the American people in the legitimacy of our political institutions, in the fairness of our economy, and in the good faith of their countrymen."

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