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FL congressman ranks first in House for taxpayer savings legislation

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REP. DENNIS ROSS: Led all House members from the 112 Congress in net taxpayer savings legislation.

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.

graph 112 congress spending - houseOther key findings include:

  • 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.

BillTally highlights can be viewed here.

The full BillTally report can be viewed here.

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William Patrick is Watchdog.org’s Florida reporter. His work has been featured by Fox News, the Drudge Report, and Townhall.com, as well as other national news and opinion websites. He’s also been cited and reposted by numerous state news organizations, including Florida Trend, Sunshine State News and the Miami Herald, and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Florida Press Association. William’s work has impacted discussions on education, privacy, criminal justice reform, and government and corporate accountability. Prior to joining Watchdog, William worked for the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, Fla. There, he launched a legislative news website covering state economic issues. After leaving New York City in 2010, William worked for the Florida Attorney General’s Office where he assisted state attorneys general in prosecuting Medicaid Fraud. William graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College, City University of New York. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three young children.