NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Congress Headed For Massive Spending Increase

October 23, 2000

Congress is on track to approve the largest annual increase in domestic discretionary spending in a quarter-century, according to a report from the Democratic minority staff of the House Budget committee.

Not counting military spending or entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare:

  • Spending approved for fiscal 2001, combined with increases approved last year, will amount to an annual two-year average of 5.2 percent for domestic non-military programs controlled by Congress.
  • The increase would be the largest since 1974, when Congress passed the budget act of 1974, creating the modern system for federal budgeting.
  • The previous record was a 5.1 percent annual rate for 1976 and 1977.

The previous Congress, elected in 1996, increased spending only 2.4 percent. Critics charge much of the increase is the result of special projects in lawmakers' districts -- in other words, pork barrel spending.

Source: William M. Welch, "Congress Headed Toward Record Spending Increase," USA Today, October 23, 2000.


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