November 5, 2007

The Senate RePork Card

The Club for Growth has published its RePork Card for the Senate, three months after doing the same for the House. Certain similarities exist between the two lists, such as the heavy tilt towards Republicans at the top end of the list, as well as the bipartisan level of failing grades for this assessment. It also features a reversal of the old 80/20 rule, where 80% of the problem exists in 20% of the population. In this case, 80% of the solution is found in only 20% of the population.

Here are the four Senators who score 100% on anti-pork initiatives in the Senate this year:

Coburn (R-OK) 100% 15 / 15
DeMint (R-SC) 100% 13 / 13
Burr (R-NC) 100% 15 / 15
McCain (R-AZ) 100% 2 / 2

John McCain missed a lot of votes because of his campaign schedule, but he's been consistently excellent on pork-barrel reform. Our friends Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn appear at the top of the list, both of whom talked pork on Heading Right Radio in the last two months. John Ensign set a good example for the NRSC with a 93% score, good enough for an A.

The Democrats don't fare as well. Russ Feingold scores the highest, getting a B at 80%, and that's no surprise, either. While conservatives rarely agree with the Wisconsin Senator, he has been consistently good on pork. Unfortunately, the next Democrat on the list comes in at 40%, well below failing (Claire McCaskill of Missouri). In fact, only 20 Senators get a passing grade of over 70% on this RePork Card, 19 of them Republicans. That means that 29 Republicans fail, including my own Norm Coleman at 33%, and 49 Democrats should be held back as well.

How did the presidential candidates do? We've already seen McCain's short-sampled perfect score, but alas, the others like to pork it up -- and look who comes in last:

Obama - 33%
Biden - 17%
Dodd - 14%
Clinton - 11%

Rep. Steve King (R-IA, 93%) has a solution for Congressional pork. Instead of pushing the responsibility onto the executive branch to clean up after the pork pull in the legislature, King wants to have a line-item veto for Congress. He has just proposed the CUT Resolution, HR 776. It has 33 co-sponsors already, and he's looking for support:

The CUT (Cut the Unnecessary Tab) Resolution or H.Res. 776, would update the House rules to require a quarterly rescission bill, open for any amendment, to cut unspent funds of the ongoing fiscal year.

“Americans expect Congress to pull the reigns on government spending. But the Congressional budget process, itself, is set-up for blind, big-government accounting. I introduced the CUT Resolution to force all House Members to take responsibility for every dollar spent in the federal budget. From earmarks to unwanted bureaucratic programs, there will be no more hiding from our responsibility to America. Either vote Yea or Nay,” King commented.

“The CUT Resolution is a line-item veto for every Member of the House and it will be open the budget to the public, nothing behind closed doors. Any blogger, or any citizen, will be able to search the budget for fat and petition their representative to cut it. CUT will put Republican-style fiscal responsibility back into the federal budget,” added King.

Hopefully, King will find enough support in both chambers to get this kind of fiscal responsibility into Congressional process. He spoke about it on today's Heading Right Radio show. If you like what you hear, start pressing your Representatives and Senators to support HR 776. Remind them that it will be considered extra credit, and that failure to complete their assignment could result in expulsion in the next election.


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