Now in con­trol, House Repub­li­cans re­vive ‘You­Cut’ pro­gram

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY SEAN LENGELL

House Repub­li­cans are ramp­ing up their push to slash gov­ern­ment spend­ing by re­viv­ing a pro­gram that lets Amer­i­cans vote on­line for which fed­eral pro­grams to cut.

While in the mi­nor­ity last year, the “You­Cut” pro­gram mostly was ad­vi­sory. House Repub­li­cans tried to of­fer the cuts as amend­ments to bills but were shot down pro­ce­du­rally by the Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity.

But now that Repub­li­cans con­trol of the cham­ber, the pro­gram has more teeth, as the “win­ning” gover nment bu­reau­cracy will get the chance for an up-or-down vote on the House floor.

“We as Repub­li­cans re­main com­mit­ted to em­ploy the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to en­gage the so­cial me­dia util­ity so that more and more Amer­i­cans can be in­volved in the leg­isla­tive process,” said House Ma­jor­ity Leader Eric Can­tor, Vir­ginia Repub­li­can, dur­ing a May 11 news con­fer­ence to an­nounce “Phase II” of the You­Cut pro­gram.

Any ef­fort to kill the pro­grams likely would die in the

“We were go­ing to make sure that this town starts to look at ways of sav­ing, not spend­ing,” Mr. Can­tor said.

Mr. Can­tor has tapped the Repub­li­can fresh­men class to ad­min­is­ter the pro­gram, a def­er­ence to their tea party-in-

Each week the House is in session the pub­lic can go to www.ma­jor­ityleader.gov/you­cut and se­lect one of three gov­ern­ment pro­grams to cut. The pro­posal with the most votes will be in­tro­duced as a bill, with the pub­lic able to track its progress on the web­site.

Demo­crat-con­trolled Se­nate. House Repub­li­cans, how­ever, say they are ful­fill­ing a cam­paign prom­ise to con­tinue pres­sure on the up­per cham­ber and the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to con­trol gov­ern­ment spend­ing. fused en­thu­si­asm and the move­ment that helped pro­pel the GOP to take con­trol of the House af­ter the 2010 elec­tions.

“Ev­ery Amer­i­can out there has seen some for m, some shape of gov­ern­ment waste,” said Rep. Austin Scott of Geor- gia, pres­i­dent of House Repub­li­can fresh­men. “All of those lit­tle bits of waste have added up to the tremen­dous deficit that we have and a tremen­dous na­tional debt.”

Each week the House is in session the pub­lic can go to

www.ma­jor­ityleader.gov/you­cut and se­lect one of three gov­ern­ment pro­grams to cut. The pro­posal with the most votes will be in­tro­duced as a bill, with the pub­lic able to track its progress on the web­site.

The web­site also al­lows peo­ple to sub­mit sug­ges­tions for other pro­grams to cut.

The You­Cut pro­gram be­gan last year as part of a largely sym­bolic push to force the then Demo­crat-held House to cut spend­ing. Repub­li­can lead­ers vowed in their 2010 Pledge to Amer­ica that, if they gained con­trol of the cham­ber in 2011, they would hold weekly votes on spe­cific spend­ing cuts.

Mr. Can­tor’s of­fice said House Repub­li­cans have kept their prom­ise of hold­ing weekly spend­ing-cut votes. The only ex­cep­tion was the week of Jan. 9, when leg­isla­tive mat­ters were put on hold by the shoot­ing of Demo­crat Rep. Gabrielle Gif­fords, Ari­zona Demo­crat, in her home district.

“And I think all of us can agree, we’re op­er­at­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment now where it has be­come the rule of the day to talk about cut­ting tril­lions [of dol­lars], not bil­lions,” Mr. Can­tor said.

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