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Super Committee Appointees Far Apart on Savings Proposals


Demian Brady
August 19, 2011

Using preliminary BillTally data for the 112th Congress, NTUF examined at the list of bills with cost estimates sponsored by the six appointees to the Super Committee and identified 18 non-overlapping proposals to cut spending. Altogether, these proposals would reduce spending by $89.6 billion annually.

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None of these 18 pieces of legislation have bipartisan support among the Super Committee Members, but three of those proposals have been introduced in both chambers and have the backing of GOP Senators and Representatives on the panel. The savings of these three “common bills” are estimated at $41.3 billion total, the bulk which was for repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

To find additional savings without resorting to tax hikes, the Members need look no further than at the other savings bills that have been introduced in Congress. BillTally’s database has recorded the introduction of non-overlapping spending cuts in the House alone of $357.2 billion per year. This is more than twice the average annualized total deficit reduction ($150 billion per year) the Committee is charged with developing for consideration in the full House and Senate. A current list of all the savings bills we’ve identified so far is available here.

Since 1991, the BillTally cost accounting system has computed a “net annual agenda” based on each Senator’s or Representative’s individual sponsorship or cosponsorship of legislation. This unique approach provides an in-depth look at the fiscal behavior of lawmakers, free from the influence of committees, party leaders, and rules surrounding floor votes. All cost estimates for bills are obtained from third-party sources, Congress Members’ offices, or are calculated from neutral data.

The tables below show the changes in outlays that would occur from the legislation sponsored by the Super Committee appointees based on a snapshot of our 112th Congress BillTally data as of August 15, 2011 (the total data set as of that date included cost estimates for 424 House bills and 236 Senate bills) and for the complete 111th Congress.

 

“Super Committee” Member Agendas, 112th Congress
(As of August 15, 2011)

 

Spending Increases

Spending Cuts

Net Spending Agenda

Senate Democrats

Max Baucus (MT)

$4,552

$0

$4,552

John Kerry (MA)

$3,159

($607)

$2,552

Patty Murray (WA)

$8,199

($22)

$8,177

       

Senate Republicans

Jon Kyl (AZ)

$41

($85,050)

($85,009)

Rob Portman (OH)

$65

($79,350)

($79,285)

Pat Toomey (PA)

$60

($83,650)

($83,590)

       

House Democrats

Xavier Becerra (CA)

$1,157,198

$0

$1,157,198

James Clyburn (SC)

$165

$0

$165

Chris Van Hollen (MD)

$34,213

$0

$34,213

       

House Republicans

Dave Camp (MI)

$0

($41,894)

($41,894)

Jeb Hensarling (TX)

$19

($43,068)

($43,049)

Fred Upton (MI)

$37

($41,319)

($41,282)


Note: All dollar figures are in millions. Data is preliminary and subject to change.
Source: National Taxpayers Union Foundation BillTally System.


“Super Committee” Member Agendas, 111th Congress

 

Spending Increases

Spending Cuts

Net Spending Agenda

Senate Democrats

Max Baucus (MT)

$66,816

($48)

$66,768

John Kerry (MA)

$234,704

($1,094)

$233,610

Patty Murray (WA)

$162,358

($148)

$162,210

       

Senate Republicans

Jon Kyl (AZ)

$2,225

($63,818)

($61,593)

Rob Portman (OH)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Pat Toomey (PA)

N/A

N/A

N/A

       

House Democrats

Xavier Becerra (CA)

$1,247,772

($36)

$1,247,736

James Clyburn (SC)

$50,687

($36)

$50,651

Chris Van Hollen (MD)

$92,491

($974)

$91,517

       

House Republicans

Dave Camp (MI)

$22,813

($92,207)

($69,394)

Jeb Hensarling (TX)

$2,260

($305,253)

($302,993)

Fred Upton (MI)

$24,669

($50,287)

($25,618)


Note: All dollar figures are in millions.
Source: National Taxpayers Union Foundation BillTally System.

 

One of the appointees, Representative Xavier Becerra, is a cosponsor of H.R. 676, a bill that would prohibit private health insurance and establish a “single-payer” health care system run by the federal government. Based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' 2012 projection of national health expenditures, $1.157 trillion in new federal spending would be required (on top of $1.28 trillion of existing federal and state spending on health care and the $387 billion in savings claimed by supporters of the bill).


 

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