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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

Sen. Rand Paul cites SpendingTracker.org in new-op-ed

In an op-ed published Monday in the Bowling Green Daily News, US Senator Rand Paul cites Coalition project SpendingTracker.org to highlight his record on spending and the need for better votes in Congress.

Exposing wasteful spending is just part of my commitment to being a good steward of your money. As your senator, I’ve. been a lone, yet determined, voice pushing back against the “Spend, spend, spend! Who cares how we pay for it!” mantra of today’s Washington.

Last week, the Coalition to Reduce Spending, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog organization, highlighted how much each member of Congress votes to spend each year. And for those already taking cover behind their party talking points to blame the other side, here’s a spoiler: both Republicans and Democrats fared poorly.

According to their report, in the 115th Congress, the average member of Congress in both parties voted to spend approximately $1.58 trillion. That is absurd. We don’t have that kind of money, and we certainly didn’t cut enough to balance our budget and account for those expenditures.

Read the full piece here, and stay tuned as we continue our work to hold everyone accountable.

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NEWS RELEASE: A Decade of Accountability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rebekah Bydlak
Email: media@reducespending.org

SPENDING WATCHDOG RELEASES FISCAL RECORD OF EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS SINCE 2009
SpendingTracker.org tallies over 4 million individual score and vote records

January 23, 2019 – The Coalition to Reduce Spending, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog announced the newest expansion of SpendingTracker.org on Wednesday. The group has collected legislative spending records dating back to 2009, creating the largest such database in existence.

The Coalition digitizes Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scores for every bill affecting spending, cross-referencing them with voting records to assign every Member of Congress an individual score.

Key takeaways include:

  • In the 115th Congress, the average elected official – in both parties – voted to spend roughly $1.58 trillion.
  • The lowest-spending Representative during his time in office is Michigan’s Justin Amash, who voted to cut spending by roughly $165 billion in the most recent Congress; nearly tied with Amash is the second-most frugal, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie.
  • Amash and Massie are the only Representatives who have voted for a net spending decrease during their overall time in office.
  • While much has been written about its profligate spending, the 115th Congress also represents the first time that multiple elected officials have ended a session voting for a net spending cut (Amash, Massie, Tennessee’s Jimmy Duncan, Idaho’s Raúl Labrador, and Virginia’s Morgan Griffith in the House; Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Utah’s Mike Lee in the Senate).

Coalition founder & president Jonathan Bydlak says that there was a good reason for creating the tool, which launched in 2017. “Our generation is increasingly burdened with unsustainable spending and debt, while the vast majority of politicians claim to be doing the right thing. Transparency into actual voting records is the missing piece.”

SpendingTracker.org now contains data going back to 2009, the 111th Congress. In a time when political memories have never been shorter, the tool contains roughly a decade of votes and impacts for anyone to easily access.

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The Coalition to Reduce Spending is a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to reducing spending and debt. More information on the spending tracker, including full explanations of methodology and dataset, can be found at SpendingTracker.org

Shutdown drags on, but is it saving money?

Note: This post originally appeared at the Institute for Spending Reform.

The United States has now entered its longest-ever government shutdown. With government employees across the country officially receiving $0 paychecks, it’s likely that Members of Congress will get even more pressure to find a solution. Meanwhile, competing stories of standoffs and storming out of meetings do not offer much optimism that compromise is on the horizon.

It can be tempting to celebrate government shutting down for any reason. After all, most of us are not affected, and for fiscal conservatives, reminders that life goes on without federal funding are welcome. We should not be tempted, however, to think the shutdown is saving us money. For one, most federal employees will eventually be paid (for work they mostly weren’t allowed to do). For another, some taxes and fees like national park entrance fees won’t be collected.

The sky may not be falling over a partial shutdown — in fact, it rather clearly is not. But this latest impasse is just another reminder that government by crisis does not work, and politicians should not be allowed to let the status quo continue for the next generation.

On that, everyone should agree.

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GAO: Increasing amount of spending on autopilot

In news that will come as no surprise to budget observers, the Government Accountability Office has released a report showing that this type of unreviewed spending has increased a shocking 88% since 1994.

Of course, with most of the budget now on autopilot, there is even less of an opportunity to review major spending and make reforms to massive programs. Budget process reform has not made progress in a generation, but reports like these should remind everyone of just how important it is.

Read the full report here.

Big spending looms in lame duck

After another election cycle, Congress is back with a full plate. Government funding runs out on December 7, and lawmakers have to pass either seven unfinished appropriations bills or another continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.

However, some big ticket items are also looming. They include Hurricane Michael relief, National Flood Insurance Program re-authorization, and a potential “fix” for Medicare’s complicated “donut hole” problem.

Meanwhile, as Democrats take back control of the House of Representatives, a plan is advancing that will move Congress toward some form of budget process reform, though it remains to be seen exactly how far-reaching that plan will be.

As reports last week highlighted, growing mandatory liabilities put the US on a collision course. Soon, our nation will be spending more on debt service than on Defense within short order.

The lame duck Congress is as unlikely to solve all of these issues as the new Congress will be, unless taxpayers can change the incentive structure that lets spending be everyone’s last priority. Achieving this goal is truly the cause of our generation — now more than ever.

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