NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Accomplishments Of The 104th Congress

July 31, 1996

Republicans chalked up some stunning achievements in the 104th Congress, political observers note. It eliminated 270 federal programs, agencies, offices and projects -- and deeply cut costs in hundreds of others.

  • The departed agencies and their annual costs include the Interstate Commerce Commission ($15.4 million), U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration ($14 million), Office of Technological Assessment ($18.4 million), and the Bureau of Mines ($30 million).
  • Then there was the demise of what many consider the greatest boondoggle of all: the $350 million per year program known as "highway demonstration projects."

Bureaucracies which survived, but saw substantial budget cuts:

  • The National Endowment for the Arts (a 38 percent budget cut); and the National Endowment for the Humanities (36 percent).
  • The Appalachian Regional Commission (39 percent); the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (28 percent); the Legal Services Corporation (33 percent); and mass transit subsidies (43 percent).
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development found itself 10 percent less affluent, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting 15 percent.

Experts say that because of these and other cuts, freezes and terminations, Congress succeeded in cutting year-to-year discretionary spending -- as calculated in actual dollars rather than "baseline" figures -- for the first time since 1969.

Source: Ronald D. Utt (Heritage Foundation), "Congress Took a Whack at Big Government," Wall Street Journal, July 31, 1996.


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