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Out-of-control government spending is the most pressing issue of our day. The Coalition to Reduce Spending is dedicated to advocating for reducing federal spending and balancing the budget. Continuing to live beyond our means will only jeopardize our country's future prosperity and security.
News

Coalition Letter: Pentagon Spending Should Save Taxpayer Dollars While Keeping America Safe

Today, the Coalition sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to consider reform principles for Pentagon spending that will save taxpayer dollars and keep America safe. The Center for Freedom and Prosperity, FreedomWorks, National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance also signed the coalition letter.

Broadly, we asked members to support these principles:

  • Support Adaptable Programs and Leverage Open Architecture
  • Pursue Clear Strategy and Requirements on the Front End
  • Prioritize Long-Term Costs and Savings

As the letter summarizes:

Our organizations and the millions of Americans we represent may not agree on all issues, but together, we believe that keeping America safe requires strong finances. We believe that avoiding fewer proprietary systems and preferential earmarks are commonsense steps in that direction. It is vital that we invest in the technologies of the future and focus on keeping citizens safe while guarding the pocketbooks of the American taxpayers.

Read the full letter here.

PRESS RELEASE: Rep. Bruce Westerman Spends Least out of Arkansas Delegation

New analysis from the nonpartisan SpendingTracker.org reveals that Arkansas representatives are significant significant contributors to federal government overspending. Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-4) is the most fiscally conservative of the Arkansas delegation this session, voting for $524 billion in new spending.

By comparison, Rep. French Hill (AR-2) has supported $872 billion, and Reps. Steve Womack (AR-3) and Rick Crawford (AR-1) have each voted in favor of $922 billion.

Westerman’s record comes from his votes against massive spending packages recently pushed through Congress. He was the only member of Arkansas’s delegation to vote against H.R. 1892, the Bipartisan Budget Act, which raised federal spending caps back in February. He also voted against the subsequent $40 billion appropriations package.

Compared to Congress overall, Westerman’s score is ranked “Average,” whereas French, Womack, and Crawford each rate as “Very High” relative to all Members. Under President Trump, spending scores for Arkansas’s delegation are also down across the board. In the 114th Congress, the last two years of President Obama’s term, all Arkansas congressmen voted for roughly $2 trillion in new federal spending.

On the Senate side, things are no better. Senator Tom Cotton voted for $839 billion in new spending, ranked a “high spender” and a “very high spender” compared to his party and delegation. Sen. John Boozman voted for $922 billion in new spending and is rated similarly.

Much of the total spending is contained within large, “must-pass” pieces of legislation. When considering all votes that have been taken, not just those for bills that became law, Westerman’s score drops to $190 billion (a score ranked “very low”), while Hill drops to $538 billion (“low”) and Womack and Crawford each to $588 billion.

Jonathan Bydlak, founder of SpendingTracker.org, says that Members should not fall back on this excuse, however. “The fact that most spending is enacted in enormous pass-fail bills should be reason for Members of Congress to redouble efforts at process reform,” he said, “not accept the status quo of sky-high deficits and debt.” 

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SpendingTracker.org is a joint project of the nonpartisan Coalition to Reduce Spending and Institute for Spending Reform. The site tracks official government estimates in real-time to determine how much spending each member of Congress has voted for. Learn more at SpendingTracker.org.

Download a PDF version here.

35 Members of the House Introduce Resolution on National Debt

Last week, 35 members of the House of Representatives introduced H. Res. 919, which recognizes the national debt as a threat to national security.

Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05) spoke about the reasoning behind introducing the resolution:

“My colleagues and I have introduced this resolution because, with a national debt over $21 trillion, the United States is racing towards a fiscal cliff. We are taking few measures to solve this problem. It is beyond time for Congress to become serious about balancing the nation’s budget and making significant cuts to federal spending. If we do not change our course, we will be responsible for one of the worse catastrophes this nation has ever experienced: the crash of the American economy and the demise of a superpower. We must not let our grandchildren inherit – and experience – this ruinous fate.”

Many of the original cosponsors provided quotes on the predicament that the U.S. federal government is currently in. Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-04) said,

“The American people sent us to Washington to change the status quo and reduce out-of-control government spending. It’s time to deal with our spending problems and balance the federal budget.”

The full press release and various statements can be found here. You can also see all the cosponsors on Congress.gov.

Members of both the House and Senate must get serious about reforming spending. After passing a massive spending bill earlier this year, it’s imperative that cuts are made before a fiscal catastrophe hits. We commend these 35 Representatives from across the country for seeing the national debt for what it is: a huge danger.

Coalition Letter: Senate Should Oppose Amendment Eliminating Sequester Mechanism

CRS has joined National Taxpayers Union and ten other organizations urging Senators to oppose an amendment to the NDAA. Amendment #2321, offered by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK), would eliminate the Budget Control Act’s (BCA) sequester mechanism for discretionary spending as a way to continue increasing defense funding and work around the budget caps.

The letter explains in more detail:

Despite repeated budget agreements that amended the BCA’s caps, the BCA has nonetheless been an essential check on the congressional impulse to overspend. The BCA has generated significant savings for taxpayers, established a lower budget baseline, and forced much-needed waste reduction and prioritization of programmatic needs across federal agencies.

The annual Defense authorization act is an improper vehicle to unwind the BCA. Any discussion of repealing or changing the caps ought to be done in the context of other significant reforms that would generate real savings for taxpayers – both now AND in the future.

The full text of the letter can be read here.

Signers include:

  • Coalition to Reduce Spending
  • National Taxpayers Union
  • Campaign for Liberty
  • Concerned Veterans for America
  • Center for Freedom and Prosperity
  • Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
  • ConservativeHQ
  • Independent Women’s Voice
  • Defense Priorities Initiative
  • Taxpayers for Common Sense
  • FreedomWorks
  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Open Letter Supporting the President’s Rescissions Package

In an open letter to Congress, 16 groups in total expressed support for the rescissions request sent by the Trump administration. We believe this a step toward fiscal restraint, something that is much needed in Washington right now.

The letter explains that,

The rescission process has been utilized by several previous Democratic and Republican administrations. This proposal requests more than $15 billion in rescinded appropriations, which makes it easily the largest rescission request offered by any President in U.S. history. As with rescission requests in the past, we believe this important step toward greater fiscal responsibility is worthy of strong bipartisan support.

The letter concludes with a summary of where the nation currently stands:

With the national debt topping $21 trillion and projected deficits exceeding $1 trillion, it is clear that Washington will have to start showing greater spending discipline. While this package does not solve all of the federal government’s spending problems, it does take an important step toward achieving budgetary savings – a goal all lawmakers from both parties should enthusiastically support.

The wide group of signatories include: the Coalition to Reduce Spending, National Taxpayers Union, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Club for Growth, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Heritage Action for America, Campaign for Liberty, Less Government, Independent Women’s Voice, Women for Trump, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Family Business Coalition and Center for Individual Freedom.

It is important that Congress and the administration start clawing back federal spending and programs that are no longer necessary. This is a great first step, and will hopefully spark rigorous debate on spending priorities in the future.

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