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Study Tracks Record Breakdown in Congress's Fiscal Discipline; No Lawmakers Had Net Voting Records to Reduce Spending Last Year
For Immediate Release September 1, 2005
(Alexandria, VA) -- For every hour the 108th Congress was in session, the Senate and House of Representatives each voted to raise federal spending by roughly $200 million -- just one of many startling findings in the latest VoteTally report issued today by National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF).
"The 'get-tough' on deficits rhetoric from Presidential candidates last year could have given Congress at least a measure of political cover to cut spending and put the country back on the path to fiscal stability," said NTUF Director of Congressional Analysis and VoteTally project leader Jeff Dircksen. "Unfortunately lawmakers wasted this chance to address an ever-expanding federal government."
Since 1994 NTUF's VoteTally cost accounting system has examined the entirety of Congress's spending decisions -- including votes on failed bills, vetoed measures, and acquiescence to "mandatory" (such as entitlement) spending growth. Among the highlights of the report, based on 659 House and Senate votes:
"By failing to bring down expenditures, elected officials are putting taxpayers on the road to higher taxes and lower economic growth in the future," Dircksen concluded. "Neither the 109th Congress nor the American people can afford more missed opportunities for spending discipline."
NTUF is the non-partisan research arm of the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union. Note: The report, Closed Doors and Closed Minds: The 108th Congress's Missed Opportunities to Cut Federal Spending, featuring individual VoteTally totals, is available at www.ntu.org.