PRESS RELEASE: NEW: MEMO FROM FORMER SCHUMER BUDGET AIDE ANALYZING GOP INFRASTRUCTURE PROPOSAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2021

Contact: 
Maddy McDaniel, Communications Director

[email protected] or 914-471-7716

NEW: MEMO FROM FORMER SCHUMER BUDGET AIDE ANALYZING GOP INFRASTRUCTURE PROPOSAL

Former Schumer Budget Aide Charlie Ellsworth“The counteroffer does not come close to the “nearly $1 trillion” headline Republicans have been chasing…Republicans only increased their offer by $32 billion, or roughly the value of one additional year’s worth of their previous proposal”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, former budget aide to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Charlie Ellsworth released a memo detailing his analysis of the infrastructure counter proposal released by Senate Republicans yesterday.

Ellsworth served as the budget advisor to Senate Majority Leader Schumer, where he led the budget reconciliation strategy and execution of the American Rescue Plan Act and drafted and negotiated the $350 billion state and local government fiscal relief title of the bill. He is now a partner at Pioneer Public Affairs and a policy advisor to Invest in America Action.

Key points from the memo include: 

“After accounting for baseline spending, the counteroffer does not come close to the “nearly $1 trillion” headline Republicans have been chasing. In fact, according to their own release, new spending only amounts to $257 billion over eight years, meaning Republicans only increased their offer by $32 billion, or roughly the value of one additional year’s worth of their previous proposal.

For comparison’s sake, roughly the same amount of new money in the Republican proposal could be gained by increasing the corporate tax rate by 2.5 points – from 21 percent to 23.5 percent (the rate was 35 percent before the Trump tax breaks became law in 2017).

But, instead of doing that, Republicans proposed new user fees of unspecified size – a middle-class tax increase that the White House and Congressional Democrats have already rejected – and cuts to just-enacted programs from the American Rescue Plan Act that are already helping working Americans.” 

Read the full memo below and here.

To: Interested Parties 
From: Charlie Ellsworth, former budget adviser for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
Date: May 28, 2021 
Re: Senate Republicans’ Inadequate Counter-Offer on Infrastructure
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The Republican infographic released Thursday morning ignores critical investments from the President’s Jobs Plan and then proposes cutting programs for working Americans instead of asking corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share.

After accounting for baseline spending, the counteroffer does not come close to the “nearly $1 trillion” headline Republicans have been chasing. In fact, according to their own release, new spending only amounts to $257 billion over eight years, meaning Republicans only increased their offer by $32 billion, or roughly the value of one additional year’s worth of their previous proposal. The remaining $671 billion in spending listed by the Republican counteroffer on Thursday is what Congress would be expected to allocate on these programs within the same timeframe.

To offset such a meager investment, Republicans propose working Americans should sacrifice so tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest are preserved. For comparison’s sake, roughly the same amount of new money in the Republican proposal could be gained by increasing the corporate tax rate by 2.5 points – from 21 percent to 23.5 percent (the rate was 35 percent before the Trump tax breaks became law in 2017).

But, instead of doing that, Republicans proposed new user fees of unspecified size – a middle-class tax increase that the White House and Congressional Democrats have already rejected – and cuts to just-enacted programs from the American Rescue Plan Act that are already helping working Americans. These cuts would result in:

  • Increased health care premiums for middle-class Americans by reducing tax credits in the Affordable Care Act.
  • Cuts to elementary, secondary and higher education investments.
  • Cuts to the enormously popular child tax credit program that intends to cut child poverty in America by half. Are Republicans now pro-child poverty?
Finally, a note on Sen. Barrasso’s comment that the biggest concern in the economy today is inflation. First off, it’s ironic that Republicans are complaining about inflation and then proposing to increase costs on working Americans through new user fees. Secondly, inflation is not the foremost concern in the economy today. Among those who would disagree with that view would likely include:
  • The up to 10 million Americans who are currently unemployed.
  • The millions of Americans who live in fear of catastrophic weather events, such as forest fires, hurricanes, flooding and drought, as a result of climate change. 
  • The millions of workers making substandard wages to ensure the needs of our children and elderly are taken care of while Americans go to their jobs each day.
As the White House has said, current inflation trends are transitory and expected to subside as the economy recovers from the covid recession. Regardless, the Federal Reserve has a mandate to address inflation should it become a problem. Congress, for its part, must focus on addressing the long-term investment needs of our country, for which there is no alternative to Congressional inaction.
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About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at InvestInAmericaNow.com and @InvestNowUSA, and InvestinAmericaProject.com.

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