(Note: I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition to Reduce Spending)
The Club For Growth, one of the nation’s premier free market advocacy organizations, has recently announced a new project that we think is extremely worthwhile. While the Club is most well known for its overall congressional scorecard, they’ve recently created a “mini” version they call the Spending Cut Scorecard. This particular ongoing scorecard gives Congressmen a rating from 0%-100% based on whether they support amendments offered in the House to cut spending.
In a press release sent out this week, Club For Growth’s president Chris Chocola said:
The Club for Growth today launched a new Spending Cut Scorecard designed for members of the public and Club Members to track how members of the House of Representatives are voting on amendments to cut spending from the FY13 appropriations bills. In the past, the Club for Growth tracked amendments to cut earmarks from appropriations bills, but recently noticed that many House members who ran on promises to cut spending have abandoned their pledges to do so. (emphasis added)
The Club will include clean spending cut amendments and will update the Spending Cut Scorecard following the passage of every appropriations bill. To view the new Spending Cut Scorecard, click here: www.ClubForGrowth.org/spendingcutscorecard.
Here at the Coalition to Reduce spending, we’re pleased to see the Club For Growth drawing attention to the very reason we created our Reject the Debt pledge. As Chocola noted, too many House members, even several who were elected on what many call the 2010 tea party wave, have simply gone to Washington and continued with business as usual upon their arrival.
The Reject the Debt pledge exists precisely to quell that kind of go-along-to-get-along behavior. With a $16 trillion dollar national debt that continues to grow exponentially, the days of politicians making empty promises must end for the sake of our nation’s future. That’s why the Reject the Debt pledge puts those who seek to represent us on the record, creating a mechanism to turn what in the past were false promises into a key set of policy goals that candidates and politicians sign their names to. Upon signing the pledge, these politicians can now be held directly accountable for the promises they made to get elected, putting constituents and activists in the drivers seat.
Politicians who sign the Reject the Debt Pledge promise that they will:
1. Vote against unbalanced budgets
2. Vote against new spending (without offsets)
3. Vote against borrowing more money
The time for ignoring the behemoth that is our national debt for political gain is past. We are pleased to work toward creating more accountability in this arena, and are glad that great groups like the Club For Growth are increasingly focused on this important issue as well. It’s imperative that members of Congress who continuously increase our already unsustainable level of spending be called out for doing so, which is why we encourage you to check out and share the Club For Growth’s new Spending Cut Scorecard. An interesting summary of some of their findings is below.
- 20 members of the House have voted for every amendment to cut spending. All are Republicans.
- 50 members of the House have voted against every amendment to cut spending. 49 are Democrats. One is a Republican (Bonner).
- The average Republican voted for spending cuts 59% of the time. Republican Freshman are only slightly better at 60%.
- The average Democrat voted for spending cuts 6% of the time.
- The nine Republicans, including four freshmen, who have least often voted to cut spending are: Bonner 0%, Meehan 4%, LaTourette 4%, Bass 4%, Simpson 4%, Lucas 4%, King, P. 4%, Grimm 4%, and Dold 4%
- The eight Democrats who have most often voted to cut spending are: Matheson 32%, Rush 31%, Kucinich 30%, Polis 28%, Cooper 20%, McIntyre 17%, Velazquez 17%, and Honda 17%