Government Bytes


Mark Sanford's Legislative Record in the South Carolina House Race

by Dan Barrett / /

Last week, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford announced he would seek the House seat recently vacated by Congressman Tim Scott (R-SC) to assume Senator Jim DeMint's (R-SC) position. This won't be the first time Governor Sanford will be campaigning and possibly representing South Carolinians on the federal level. He served as the First District’s Congressman for three terms, between 1995 and 2000. To help taxpayers in the Palmetto State, I went into the NTUF BillTally archives* to see what might be in store for citizens if he is elected.

Proposed Federal Spending Agenda of Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford
(in millions of dollars)
Source: NTUF BillTally System

Of the bills NTUF was able to score over Governor Sanford's three terms, a couple of recurring themes appear. He would either make wholesale reforms to, or eliminate entirely, the Departments of Commerce and Energy, and would re-work the way the federal government collects & spends tax dollars (in fact, some of his proposals were similar to those being considered in Congress today). He also opposed granting Members of Congress a cost-of-living adjustment (or COLA).

On the spending side, he supported two multi-billion proposals that would increase government benefits paid to either government employees (in the form of more Social Security monthly payments) or servicemembers (who would have received a COLA). Another bill he proposed in the 106th Congress would have helped develop a Yugoslavian federal government.

Bottom Line for Taxpayers: It is difficult to tell whether Governor Sanford would rekindle any of the proposals he supported more than a decade ago in the House of Representative but, at the time, his spending agenda would have resulted in a net spending decrease for the government. NTUF will monitor the developments of Governor Sanford’s and others' campaign promises and provide Americans with the possible costs or savings using the BillTally system. Other possible candidates include State Senator Larry Grooms, State Representative Chip Limehouse, and philanthropist Teddy Turner.

* NTUF's BillTally project has been in operation since 1991 (or the 102nd Congress) but only back to the 107th is available through our online searchable database. Governor Sanford was in office in the 104th, 105th, and 106th Congresses. To search for your elected Representative and Senators, go here.