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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Financial Services And General Government Appropriations Act, 2015 July 15, 2014
Alan Grayson, D-FL
"If you can’t afford the first month’s rent and security deposit you need in order to rent an apartment, you may get stuck in an overpriced residential motel. If you don’t have a kitchen or even a refrigerator and microwave, you will find yourself falling back on convenience store food, which—in addition to its nutritional deficits— is also alarmingly overpriced. If you need a loan, as most poor people eventually do, you will end up paying an interest rate many times more than what a more affluent borrower would be charged. To be poor—especially with children to support and care for—is a perpetual high-wire act."
Introduction Of The National Freight Network Trust Fund Act Of 2014 July 14, 2014
Janice Hahn, D-CA
"It would also create a dedicated funding source at no new cost to the public by depositing 5 percent of all import duties collected by CBP and place these funds in the National Freight Network Trust Fund. Five percent of import duties would deposit roughly $1.9 billion in the Trust Fund every year at our current rate of imports."
Howard P. “Buck” Mckeon National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2015 May 21, 2014
Howard McKeon, R-CA
"(a) Redesignation.—Pershing Park in the District of Columbia is hereby redesignated as the “National World War I Memorial”. (b) Ceremonies.—The Commission may plan, develop, and execute ceremonies for the rededication of Pershing Park, as it approaches its 50th anniversary, as the National World War I Memorial and for the enhancement of the General Pershing Commemorative Work as authorized by subsection (c). (c) Authority To Enhance Commemorative Work.— (1) In general.—The Commission may enhance the General Pershing Commemorative Work by constructing on the land designated by subsection (a) as the National World War I Memorial appropriate sculptural and other commemorative elements, including landscaping, to further honor the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I. (2) General pershing commemorative work defined.—The term “General Pershing Commemorative Work” means the memorial to the late John J. Pershing, General of the Armies of the United States, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, and to the officers and men under his command, as authorized by Public Law 89-786 (80 Stat. 1377). (d) Compliance With Standards for Commemorative Works.— (1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), chapter 89 of title 40, United States Code, applies to the enhancement of the General Pershing Commemorative Work under subsection (c). (2) Waiver of certain requirements.— (A) Site selection for memorial.—Section 8905 of such title does not apply with respect to the selection of the site for the National World War I Memorial. (B) Certain conditions.—Section 8908(b) of such title does not apply to this subtitle. (e) No Infringement Upon Existing Memorial.—The National World War I Memorial may not interfere with or encroach on the District of Columbia War Memorial. (f) Deposit of Excess Funds.— (1) Use for other world war i commemorative activities.— If, upon payment of all expenses for the enhancement of the General Pershing Commemorative Work under subsection (c) (including the maintenance and preservation amount required by section 8906(b)(1) of title 40, United States Code), there remains a balance of funds received for such purpose, the Commission may use the amount of the balance for other commemorative activities authorized under the World War I Centennial Commission Act (Public Law 112-272; 126 Stat. "
Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act May 6, 2014
Ed Royce, R-CA
"What this bill does is to ensure that there is parity in the treatment of trust accounts covered by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the FDIC."
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."

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