America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.
National Taxpayers Union

If you are unable to view the message below, click here to view this message on our website.

 

Vol. 1 Issue 14 October 7, 2010

BillTally Quarterly Report

Over the past few months, The Taxpayer's Tab has provided snapshots of NTUF's ongoing research into how Members of Congress want to spend your tax dollars by looking at the legislation that they sponsor and cosponsor - if you've missed an issue of the Tab, you can catch up here. Today's Tab pulls together all of our research to give taxpayers a more complete picture of the 111th Congress.

The 111th Congress to Date

In the 22 months since the 111th Congress first convened, NTUF has read, reviewed, and researched nearly 10,000 pieces of legislation. We've developed cost estimates for 2,418 of them - this means that they could increase, or decrease, federal spending by at least $1 million on an annual basis - while the others had no cost or a cost estimate has not yet been obtained.

As the accompanying graph shows, NTUF scored 1,413 House bills as spending increases and 103 bills as spending cuts. In the Senate, there were 859 bills to increase spending and 43 bills to cut it.

Table 1 shows how these bills would affect spending. If all House bills - excluding overlapping measures - were adopted into law, federal spending would rise by approximately $2.1 trillion on an annual basis. If all Senate bills were adopted excluding offsetting items, annual spending would rise by approximately $1.2 trillion.

Table 1. Congressional Spending Agendas
111th Congress
(Dollar Figures Are in Millions)
 
Chamber
 
All Increase Bills
 
All Decrease Bills
Net Spending Increase*
House
$2,450,169
($394,404)
$2,055,765
Senate
$1,421,764
($203,697)
$1,218,067
* Excludes overlapping bills
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

The House To Date

  • Number of increase bills for each decrease bill: 13.7 to 1
  • Spending increases per dollar cut: $6.21
  • Percent of increases offset by cuts: 16.1%

While the average Representative sponsored or cosponsored 69 bills to hike spending, the average Democrat sponsored nearly three times the number of increase bills than did the average House Republican (see Table 2). Republicans, on average, did outpace Democrats on sponsorship of spending cut bills 7 to 4, on average.

Table 2. Average Number of House Bills Sponsored by Party
111th Congress
Party
Number of Bills to Increase Spending
Number of Bills to Reduce Spending
Total Number of Bills
Democrats
93
4
143
Republicans
34
7
336
House Average
69
6
222
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

Democrat's support of spending bills relative to Republicans translated into a higher net spending agenda, on average. As Table 3 shows, House Democrats had a positive net spending agenda of $526.6 billion, while the average House Republican had negative net spending agenda of $48.1 billion.

Table 3. Average Net Spending Agendas by Party, House
111th Congress
(Dollar Figures Are in Millions)
 
Party
Proposed Increases
Proposed Cuts
Net Agendas
Percent of Increase
Offset by Cuts
Democrats
$537,309
($10,678)
$526,632
2.0%
Republicans
$31,119
($79,194)
($48,075)
254.5%
House Average
$331,382
($38,551)
$292,831
11.6%
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

Tables 4 and 5 show the ten largest spending increase and spending cut bills. Of the ten largest increase bills, six are health care reform packages and four are economic recovery measures. Of the ten largest cut bills, seven would impose a spending limit for the federal government, while two would rescind further stimulus spending and one would repeal a medical device tax.

Table 4. Ten Largest Spending Increase Bills, House
111th Congress
Bill #
Sponsor
Cost (Millions $)
HR 676 Conyers, John
$1,187,000
HR 15 Dingell, John
$796,726
HR 1200 McDermott, Jim
$796,726
HR 1321 Eshoo, Anna
$527,700
HR 861 Minnick, Walter
$174,000
HR 193 Stark, Pete
$154,500
HR 1 Obey, David
$114,260
HR 1606 Manzullo, Don
$75,050
HR 194 Stark, Pete
$74,700
HR 679 Obey, David
$71,199
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

 

Table 5. Ten Largest Spending Cut Bills, House
111th Congress
Bill #
Sponsor
Cost (Millions $)
HR 4479 Forbes, Randy
($183,781)
HR 3298 Jordan, Jim
($131,350)
HR 3140 Price, Tom
($91,600)
HR 2842 Tiahrt, Todd
($91,600)
HR 4871 Kratovil, Frank
($44,179)
HR 3442 Hodes, Paul
($43,850)
HR 5615 * Bilbray, Brian
($31,200)
HR 5542 Blackburn, Marsha
($28,480)
HR 4883 Barton, Joe
($28,164)
HR 381 Blackburn, Marsha
($28,162)
* HR 5615 was highlighted in Issue 2 of The Taxpayer's Tab
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

 

The Senate To Date

  • Number of increase bills for each decrease bill: 20 to 1
  • Spending increases per dollar cut: $6.98
  • Percent of increases offset by cuts: 14.3%

In the Senate, the average Senator supported 62 bills to increase spending - 83 for Democrats and 30 for Republicans, see Table 6. The average Democratic Senator also supported more bills to cut spending than did the average Republican, 6 versus 4.

Table 6. Average Number of Senate Sponsored Bills by Party
111th Congress
Party
Number of Bills to Increase Spending
Number of Bills to Reduce Spending
Total Number of Bills
Democrats
83
6
89
Republicans
30
4
35
Senate Average*
62
5
67
* Includes Independents
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

That support did not translate into a lower net spending agenda, however. The average Democratic net spending agenda in the Senate was $164.4 billion, see Table 7. The average Republican net spending agenda was $42.8 billion.

Table 7. Average Net Spending Agendas by Party, Senate
111th Congress
(Dollar Figures Are in Millions)
 
Party
Proposed Increases
Proposed Cuts
Net Agendas
Percent of Increase
Offset by Cuts
Democrats
$167,790
($3,372)
$164,418
2.0%
Republicans
$75,391
($32,616)
$42,775
43.3%
Senate Average*
$141,249
($15,305)
$125,943
10.8%
* Includes Independents
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

Tables 8 and 9 show the ten largest spending increase and cut bills in the Senate. Five of the largest increase bills involved health care reform, while four focused on economic recovery and one, S. 1733, was energy-related. Among the savings bills three would set discretionary spending limitations, three others would replace the current Tax Code, two would have repealed the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2009, and the remaining two are health care-related.

Table 8. Ten Largest Spending Increase Bills, Senate
111th Congress
Bill #
Sponsor
Cost (Millions $)
S 703 Sanders, Bernie
$796,726
S 391 Wyden, Ron
$527,700
S 958 Rockefeller, Jay
$74,700
S 1733 Kerry, John
$47,680
S 336 Inouye, Daniel
$36,277
S 323 Conrad, Kent
$29,894
S 979 Durbin, Dick
$27,200
S 3500 Brown, Sherrod
$25,279
S 3206 Harkin, Tom
$23,000
S 142 Kerry, John
$20,840
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

 

Table 9. Ten Largest Spending Cut Bills, Senate
111th Congress
Bill #
Sponsor
Cost (Millions $)
S 741 Specter, Arlen
($65,936)
S 1808 Feingold, Russ
($46,442)
S 932 Shelby, Richard
($41,461)
S 2911 Sessions, Jeff
($39,819)
S 2787 Thune, John
($27,865)
S 2938 Thune, John
($27,865)
S 296 Chambliss, Saxby
($10,329)
S 3158 Coburn, Tom
($9,303)
S 1734 Kyl, Jon
($3,140)
S 295 Bingaman, Jeff
($1,067)
Source: NTUF BillTally, 111th Congress through Oct. 1st.

 

Know Your Cut Bills

Out of the 2,418 bills scored by NTUF, 142 bills could cut spending by approximately $600 billion. You can find the list of spending cut bills for the 111th Congress here.

About NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a research and educational organization dedicated solely to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax policies, spending programs, and regulations at all levels affect them now and in the future. Through NTUF's timely information, analysis, and commentary, we're empowering citizens to actively engage in the fiscal policy debate and hold public officials accountable every day.

NTUF is a 501(c)(3) research and education organization. Donations are deductible for personal income tax purposes. Please make a donation today to help further NTUF's mission of research and education!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation or as a comment on any Member's fitness to serve. Cosponsor information obtained from GovTrack.us.

 

 



108 N. Alfred St. Alexandria, VA 22314