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New BillTally Report: Congress's Trillion Dollar Agenda

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

Today, National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) released our latest BillTally report, which analyzed the legislation introduced during the first session of the 113th Congress. NTUF researchers found that legislators introduced 680 spending increase proposals and 119 savings measures; had all of these bills been enacted, federal spending would have increased by nearly $1.1 trillion on net.

BillTally is a comprehensive accounting project that tracks the budgetary costs or savings associated with every bill introduced in Congress. By cross-indexing each Senator's and Representative's sponsorship records with our database of cost estimates, NTUF is able to compile each Member’s net spending agenda, which reflects the total fiscal impact of the bills they supported. The data offers taxpayers a unique look at how their elected officials would change federal spending if they had the "keys to the budget."

The first session of the 113th Congress marked a move towards more moderate fiscal proposals, as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle proposed, on average, lower spending hikes and fewer budget cuts.

  • Representatives authored 496 spending bills and 112 savings bills, while Senators drafted 332 increase bills and 56 savings bills. The number of increases was the lowest seen since the 105th Congress, but this was also the first time in several years that there were fewer cut bills introduced compared to the previous Congress.
  • The number of Representatives and Senators who proposed net cutting agendas rose in each Congress since the 108th in the House, and the 107th in the Senate, reaching a total of 297 in the 112th Congress for both chambers combined. The trend reversed in the 113th Congress, falling to 249.
  • The trend of fewer Members from year to year with agendas greater than $100 billion continued, falling to 68 in the House (down from 128 in the 111th) and just one in the Senate, down from 128 and 24, respectively in the 111th Congress.

While the enthusiasm for major spending increases or budget cuts seems to have (at least temporarily) waned, the 113th Congress continues to propose new legislation that could impact taxpayers in many ways.

Read the latest BillTally report here, and find out what sort of budgetary changes your Senators and Representatives have proposed in Congress.