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July 28, 2006
Making the CUT (Update: Pork Database Progress!)

My new post at the Heritage Foundation Policy Blog discusses a new effort by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to give Congress the power to remove spending from an already-approved budget. King's proposal, Cut the Unnecessary Tab (CUT) resolution, would amend House rules to require a quarterly rescission bill to review all unspent federal monies. Any member could then offer an amendment to delete a particular line item, and each amendment would have to receive a recorded vote -- putting each Representative on record on the program involved.

King's release describes the benefits:

Everything Is On The Table • All appropriations spending is subject to review and rescission.

During this spending reduction process, every single spending item would be up for reconsideration, and no Member of Congress could make excuses for failing to cut spending because the process would provide a record of their actions.

All Savings Go to Deficit Reduction
• Savings will be returned to the general fund and cannot be used for new spending – thus ensuring taxpayers are ultimate beneficiaries.

Sunshine to the process
• The process of cutting spending would be open to the public.
This spending cutting bill and its amendments will be on the Internet so that Americans can exercise their right to contact their Members of Congress and make their views known.

Will this result in an increase in spending discipline? It may not solve the entire problem, but it does give Congress another tool to control pork-barrel spending. I discuss this in greater depth at Heritage; be sure to read the entire post and let me know your thoughts.

UPDATE: In another post at Heritage, I note that the Coburn bill creating an on-line federal database of all spending has passed unanimously in Senate committee. It now has a number of co-sponsors from both parties, including Harry Reid and Bill Frist. (Trent Lott, oddly, is not among them!) Hopefully it will come to a vote in the full Senate very quickly. However, one major hurdle has to be overcome when it goes into joint conference. Read the post to see where the extraordinary coalition supporting S.2590 could fall apart.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 28, 2006 9:43 AM

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» Can Congress Make The CUT? from Don Singleton
The only improvement I would make is I still want to see a constitutional ammendment for a line item veto by the President, and I would like to see a law that calls for the surgical removal of any legislator that sneaks an earmark into legislation wi... [Read More]

Tracked on July 29, 2006 12:33 PM


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