Demian Brady

Some spending cut legislation in BillTally would have had a relatively modest fiscal impact, like a bill authored by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to repeal a public awareness campaign highlighting preventive benefits under “Obamacare” – it would have reduced spending by just $2 million. Others like H.R. 4060 introduced by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), would have frozen spending and imposed strict budget caps that would have saved taxpayers an impressive $433 billion.

While $433 billion would have been a huge pare-back, the distinction for the bill that would have reduced spending the most belongs to one authored by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA). His “Return to Responsible Fiscal Policies Act,” according to NTUF’s methodology, would have cut approximately $562 billion from the annual budget through a cap on federal spending at 18 percent of GDP.

Sometimes in Washington, it seems partisanship continuously wins out at the expense of taxpayers. But as BillTally shows, several Democratic Members of Congress introduced legislation to trim outlays. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) sponsored a bill that sought to cut $28 million in spending on Voice of America’s broadcasts to Cuba. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) had a bill that would have consolidated functions at the defense stores system and saved taxpayers $200 million.

These represent small steps compared to the overall budget, but could be opportunities to make bi-partisan progress on this critical challenge.

Perhaps the raw material contained in these proposals can help President Obama and Congressional leaders forge a bipartisan compromise to cut spending and put our nation back on firm economic footing (and there are even more options available online). Taxpayers and future federal budgets cannot afford to see serious spending reductions cast aside while tax hikes take center stage.

Demian Brady

Demian Brady is the Senior Policy Analyst for the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. His responsibilities include producing commentaries and studies on fiscal issues, as well as conducting research for NTUF's BillTally program, which tracks the impact of legislation on the size of the federal budget.