NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

GOP Gets A 'C' On Spending

June 28, 1999

Research organizations that decry government waste say Capitol Hill Republicans get mediocre to poor grades for their handling of the budget. Analysts say that while Republican leaders are keeping overall discretionary spending increases to a minimum, they are making no effort to cut or abolish wasteful and outmoded programs.

  • The Tax Foundation's J.D. Foster notes that the GOP has not eliminated any programs and has cut very few.
  • Scott Hodge at Citizens for a Sound Economy says, "We see spending increases reported by the (House Appropriations) Committee, but at the last minute" the House GOP leadership "are cutting back the increases and getting close to the spending levels that were enacted for fiscal 1999."
  • The National Taxpayers Union's Pete Sepp notes that leaders are having trouble cutting smaller bills now, and asks, "What are they going to do when they get to the tougher and much more politically contentious bills, like labor, health and human services, veterans, and housing and urban development, and military construction?"
  • Heritage Foundation analyst Stuart Butler sharply attacks House lawmakers for passing a $57 billion airport funding bill that he believes will bust the spending caps agreed to in the 1997 balanced-budget bill.

Sepp gives the GOP leaders a grade of C for reducing some of the increases. But he gives the transportation appropriations bill, recently passed by the House, "a very solid F."

Source: Donald Lambro, "Critics Give GOP Mediocre Grades in Spending 101," Washington Times, June 27, 1999.


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