Old habits die hard. During the first session of the 113th Congress, members of the U.S. House authored 496 spending bills compared to 112 bills that would save money. U.S. Senators, meanwhile, drafted 332 increase bills and 56 savings bills — all this according to “Bill Tally”, an analysis released Wednesday by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. But wait. Had all 828 of those big spender wish lists been passed, it would have increased the federal budget by $1.09 trillion. So we need to be careful not to tell our lavish lawmakers what comes after a trillion, so they don’t get any ideas. That goes for the White House too. Amazingly enough, the study also reports that the number of proposed spending bills is actually the lowest in eight years.
There are some frugal folk on Capitol Hill however, both Republicans. Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona proposed spending cuts that would have resulted in $269 billion in savings. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wins the prize: he offered legislation that would reduce the federal budget the most, the study found — by $317 billion.
“Congress’ agenda still exceeds $1 trillion, as it did during 2011-2012. For concerned taxpayers and fiscal hawks that bottom line may stand out as a sign that legislators are still offering major government–expanding agendas even with a noted cooling of activity , and despite the grim long-term forecast for the federal budget,” says Demian Brady, who led the research. Find it here: NTU.org to their highest points in the past decade. Even with increasing diplomatic isolation and a possible weakening economy with tougher sanctions, the vast majority of Russians will likely give their government full support in whatever course of action it chooses,” write analysts Julie Ray and Neli Esipova.