In stark contrast to the House and Senate Budget Committee budgets is the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) alternative budget resolution, which was released Wednesday. This budget blueprint reverses harmful cuts, ends inequitable spending through the tax code, and invests in job creation. Advocates believe the CPC budget demonstrates it is possible to make the needed investments in education, infrastructure, health care, housing, and nutrition while reducing the deficit and promoting economic recovery and opportunity for all.
Sequestration and defense spending: The CPC budget repeals the harmful sequester and all of the spending caps put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011, both for FY 2016 and for all of the 10 years covered by the budget. It severely limits the use of the OCO fund in FY16 and ends its use thereafter. It also calls for an audit of the Pentagon to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.
Non-Defense Discretionary Spending Programs (those programs subject to the annual appropriations process): The CPC budget includes $1.9 trillion in new investments for critical human needs programs like housing, education, and others. These investments would reverse many years of cuts.
Mandatory Spending Programs (those programs not subject to the annual appropriations process): The CPC budget restores benefits previously cut from SNAP/food stamps and provides an additional $10 billion for child nutrition programs. The budget reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program through 2019. It protects Medicaid and Medicare from cuts or other attempts to weaken the programs.
Affordable Care Act: Obamacare would be protected in the CPC budget, while the excise tax on higher-priced worker plans would be repealed. In addition, states would be allowed to transition to a single payer system if they chose to do so.
Taxes: The CPC budget ensures the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans pay higher tax rates, adopting increased tax rates for millionaires and billionaires, and closing several specific corporate tax loopholes. It expands and makes permanent improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for low-income families.
Reconciliation: The CPC budget does not use the budget resolution process known as reconciliation to cut or make changes to mandatory spending programs or to enact tax cuts.
Other: The CPC budget also calls for $1.6 trillion in spending for job creation measures. It restores Emergency Unemployment Compensation for up to 99 weeks in high-unemployment states for up to two years. It provides $820 billion to repair our crumbling infrastructure. It adopts President Obama’s initiatives to prove free preschool for all eligible low-income families with children 3 and under, and it contains provisions to move towards debt-free college access. It adopts comprehensive immigration reform and encourages the adoption of paid leave in states.
The Coalition on Human Needs endorsed the CPC budget, supporting its provisions for “comprehensive immigration reform, for safety net improvements including nutrition, health care, unemployment insurance and low-income tax credits, and for investments and protections in housing and jobs,” with services and investments paid for by responsible revenue increases and Pentagon reductions. For more information, see the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis of the CPC budget.
Categories: Budget and Appropriations