Today, the Senate will vote on Dr. Coburn's substitute amendment to S. 3326, the AGOA/ CAFTA-DR/ Burma Sanctions bill.
Coburn S. 3326 Amendment (AGOA, CAFTDR, BURMA) – Alternative Pay-For:
• The Coburn amendment replaces a budget gimmick in the underlying package with a new offset that pays for costs of the bill upfront through reduced trade duplication.
• The Coburn amendment makes NO changes to the underlying AGOA extension approved by Committee and hotlined on the floor on Monday, July 23rd – it only would change the pay for.
• This amendment is a modest step toward addressing the broken budget habits of Washington.
• The offset in the underlying package has two problems: 1) it does not pay for costs incurred in the first three years of the scoring window until TEN years from now 2) it relies on an elaborate gimmick to get around PAYGO in the fifth year of the scoring window.
• To evade PAYGO, the underlying package relies on a gimmick that requires corporations with assets over $1 billion to provide the government with an interest free loan. This so called “corporate payment shift” requires such corporations be taxed MORE than they owe in year five of the scoring window, only to have such amounts refunded in year six of the scoring window. This administrative burden for affected corporations serves no purpose other than evading PAYGO rules.
• The Coburn amendment offsets the bill’s $192 million in costs in FYs 2012 and 2013 by instructing OMB to produce such savings by eliminating, consolidating or streamlining federal program and agencies with duplicative or overlapping missions related to trade. This is achieved through a combination of reduced spending as a result of streamlining of federal trade agencies and programs, and a rescission of unobligated FY 2012 funds from trade programs of the Department of Commerce, SBA, Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade Development Agency.