Government Bytes


BillTally Study Reveals Tea Party Caucus Wants Most Cuts, Progressives Counter with Spending

by Christina Disomma / /

For the third straight BillTally report, the Tea Party Caucus in the House has proposed to cut the most from the budget – if you’re counting, that’s the entirety of the Caucus’ existence.

According to NTUF’s study of the 112th Congress: The average Tea Party agenda would slash $234 billion from the federal budget, followed closely by the Republican Study Committee average member’s $209 billion cut agenda.

The Members looking to add the most to the debt tended to be from the Progressive Caucus; whose average member sought over $1 trillion in new spending.

Although the Tea Party caucus offered the most fiscally responsible net agenda with savings of more than $2.3 billion, its members sponsored fewer of the top twenty savings bills (four as compared to the Republican Study Committee’s nine). However, the two caucuses each sponsored bills in different chambers - all of the Tea Party caucus’ bills were introduced in the Senate, while the Republican Study Committee (which is composed solely of House members) introduced its bills in the House.

On the opposite side, the Progressive Caucus was responsible for the lion’s share of big spending bills. CPC members sponsored ten of the twenty largest spending bills, eight of which were introduced in the House. None of the twenty largest savings bills were sponsored by members of either the Progressive Caucus or the Blue Dog Democrats.


Proposed Spending Increase

Proposed Cuts


Net Agenda

Top 20 Spending Sponsored

Top 20 Savings Sponsored

Progressive Caucus






Blue Dog Democrats






Republican Main Street Caucus






Republican Study Committee






Tea Party Caucus






Examining the chart confirms that in the 112th Congress, the Tea Party Caucus (TPC) proposed more budgetary reductions than any other group, and offered the greatest cuts relative to spending increases. Basically, even after supporting greater spending increases in some areas, the TPC still supported enough reduction in other areas of the government to produce the smallest “net agenda” of any of the groups. Close behind (relatively speaking, as we’re talking about billions of dollars) was the Republican Study Committee, which supported fewer spending increases but also produced fewer budget cuts. Finally, the self-described “mainstream” Republican Main Street Caucus supported a similar level of spending but drastically less reduction.

For the Democrats, the conservative Blue Dog Coalition offered fewer spending increases, but also fewer budget cuts. The Progressive Caucus actually supported greater budget cuts, but proposed such a high level of spending that its net agenda came out to more than $1 trillion.

In the end, the numbers show that the Capitol’s youngest Caucus is setting the standard for budget cutting agendas.