According to the National Taxpayer’s Union Foundation, Florida Rep. Dennis Ross had the largest net savings agenda of any member of the House of Representatives during the 112th Congress.
While Congress as a whole proposed $2.5 trillion in budget increases, Ross wanted $609 billion in taxpayer savings; second only to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s $650 billion.
“Our country is swimming in debt,” said Ross in press statement. “I am proud to serve as a leader in reducing spending and saving hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”
The results of NTUF’s findings were released last week in its annual BillTally report, a document based on each congressional member’s individual sponsorship or co-sponsorship of legislation.
The 112th Congress spanned two years and ended January 3, 2013.
The report also found that for the first time in 12 years, there were more members of Congress who wanted to cut spending than increase it.
“Our new BillTally analysis shows the electoral response to Washington’s record spending trends did stem the flow of budget increases over the past two years,” said NTUF Director of Research Demian Brady.
- Proposals related to health care had the highest average annual cost at $18.2 billion.
- $1.2 trillion in savings were drafted, but the bulk of the proposals were left on the table.
- Senate Democrats proposed an average net agenda of $39 billion each – down by $157 billion from the previous Congress.
- Senate Republicans shifted to a $273 billion average savings agenda from a $25 billion spending agenda during the previous Congress.
- The GOP’s increased focus on reducing spending would have only cut the federal budget by 5 percent.
Ross shows no signs of changing his approach in the 113th Congress. In January, the Florida congressman introduced a new budget oversight act.
If approved, the so-called ZERO Act would require managers of federal agencies and departments to justify every line item on their budgets, rather make only slight changes to the previous year’s budget.
But unfortunately for taxpayers, Ross’s bill has only a 3 percent chance of being enacted, according to govtrack.us.
“We are seeing that most members of Congress have scaled back the cost of their legislative agendas. However, there is a growing polarity between those calling for more spending and those who are ‘net cutters’. Because of this, a lot of budget cuts were left on the table at the conclusion of the 112th Congress. Without bipartisan agreement to enact some real spending restraint, deficits will flourish and higher tax burdens will likely follow,” said Brady.