Trump’s VP Pick Mike Pence Outpaced the Average Republican on Budget Cuts in the House

Trump’s VP Pick Mike Pence Outpaced the Average Republican on Budget Cuts in the House

NTUF will be at the GOP Convention in Cleveland next week leading the conversation on the importance for there to be movement on tax reform heading into the next administration. Back in DC we are keeping tabs on the candidates’ spending proposals that you can expect to hear more about in both conventions throughout the next two weeks. The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has been vague on the details of many of his proposals. To date, we have identified 10 proposals by Trump that would, on net, decrease spending by $56 billion per year. In addition, he has laid out 18 policy changes whose cost cannot be determined due to insufficient information.

News broke Thursday that Trump has picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Prior to his gubernatorial election, Pence served in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. During that time, NTUF’s unique BillTally project tracked the cost of all the legislation sponsored or cosponsored by each Member of Congress. The program provided an in-depth look at the fiscal behavior of lawmakers, free from the influence of committees, party leaders, and rules surrounding floor votes.

So what’s the bottom line for Mike Pence? During his time in the House, he proposed an average of $71 billion in spending reductions per Congress – over that time, the average Republican Representative supported $22 billion in cuts.

Net Cost of Legislation Sponsored or Cosponsored by Representative Mike Pence Vs. the Average House Republican (Dollar Figures in Millions)
Representative PenceAverage House Republican
Congress# of Increase Bills# of Decrease BillsCost of IncreasesCost of DecreasesNet Spending AgendaNet Spending Agenda
Source: National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s BillTally Program.

During his first two years in office (107th Congress), the legislation that Pence supported would have increased spending by $5 billion. His net agenda tripled to $15 billion in the 108th Congress. Subsequently, he became a net cutter, and the longer he served, the budget savings he proposed grew larger – topping out at $263 billion during the 112th Congress. In each year, he either proposed less spending or more savings than the average House Republican.

A list of each bill he supported with a cost estimate, is available on our website. Last year, NTUF completed a similar review of Hillary Clinton’s legislative spending agenda during her service in the Senate.

Hillary Clinton Boosts Her “College Compact” Proposal, Borrows from Bernie

In a nod to Bernie Sanders, who officially endorsed the Clinton campaign this past Tuesday, Hillary Clinton expanded the scope of her $350 billion over ten years college tuition proposal. Clinton’s original plan focused on eliminating the need to borrow for college with grants to support free community college tuition, and grants to states that agree to lower tuition at public schools. During the primary debates, Clinton criticized Senator Bernie Sanders’ $75 billion per year “free-tuition” program as sounding “too good to be true,” but she has now added elements of his plan to hers with the promise of tuition-free education at state schools. A Clinton campaign aide told the Washington Post this would increase the cost of her plan by $10 billion per year, but NTUF believes that this is a low-ball estimate of the potential costs to taxpayers. Read more in our analysis.