Last week, the House of Representatives passed a measure to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and cut $61 billion in the process. The bill was considered under an open amendment process, and there were hundreds of amendments offered and over a hundred votes cast over the span of a week. This after-action report will look solely at the Congressional appetite to cut spending.
Heritage Action compiled all of the votes on the amendments that proposed to cut non-security spending. We excluded amendments that proposed to shift spending from one program to another or sought to block various Obama policies-whether it be the many amendments to defund Obamacare or turn off the EPA's rule making authority. For this exercise, we chose to look solely at the unambiguous spending cuts and to see how Congress did.
47 Members (all Republicans) showed a rock-solid willingness to cut spending by voting for every spending cut:
- Amash, Bachmann, Broun, Campbell, Chabot, Chaffetz, Coffman, Duncan (TN), Duncan (SC), Flake, Fleming, Franks, Garrett, Gowdy, Graves (GA), Heller, Hensarling, Herger, Huelskamp, Huizenga, Hurt, Jenkins, Jordan, Lamborn, Mack, McClintock, McHenry, Miller (FL), Mulvaney, Myrick, Neugebauer, Paul, Pence, Pompeo, Price (GA), Ribble, Rokita, Royce, Scalise, Schweikert, Scott (GA), Scott (SC), Sessions, Walsh, Wilson, Woodall, and Young (IN).
95 Members (all Democrats) showed no appetite to cut spending by voting against every single spending cut. Another 47 voted against all but one of the cuts.
The following were the most reluctant Republicans to cut spending in descending order:
- Reichert, LaTourette, Biggert, Gerlach, Simpson, Diaz-Balart, Smith (NJ), Bass, Frelinghuysen, Wolf, Wittman, Dent, Dold, Grimm, Kinzinger, Meehan, Stivers, and Young (FL).
Compared to their partisan colleagues, the following Democrats were the most willing to cut spending:
- Costa, Peters, Boren, Holden, Peterson, Altmire, Cardoza, Owens, Barrow, Cuellar, Ross, Shuler, Costello, Schrader, McIntyre, Chandler, Donnelly, Himes, and Kissell.
Note on Methodology: Missed votes (indicated by an X on the chart) were not included in either a positive or negative fashion. For instance, a Member who missed all 21 votes (0 for 0) would receive no rating.
The spending cuts include the following 21 amendments:
1) Eliminate $34 million for the National Drug Intelligence Center (Flake);
2) Cut $10 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Latta);
3) Eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, saving $324.4 million (Duncan-SC);
4) Cut $50 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency (Biggert);
5) Cut $70 million in energy efficiency programs at the Energy Department (Latta);
6) Eliminate $35 million in funding for land acquisition at various agencies (Lummis);
7) Cut $64 million from EPA science and technology programs (Flake);
8 ) Cut $8 million from EPA environmental programs and management (Pompeo);
9) Cut $10 million from EPA state and tribal assistance grants (Reed);
10) Cut $7.4 million for forestry programs at the U.S. Forest Service (Pompeo);
11) Cut $20.6 million from the National Endowment for the Arts (Walberg);
12) Eliminate $4.5 million in funding for the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs Program (Canseco);
13) Eliminate $15 million in funding for the Presidio Trust Fund (Reed);
14) Cut $100 million from Community Development Block Grants (Flake);
15) Eliminate $233.4 million in funding for the National Labor Relations Board (Price-GA);
16) Eliminate $42.7 million in funding for the U.S. Institute of Peace (Weiner);
17) Eliminate $10.7 million in funding for the East-West Center (Canseco);
18) Cut $211.2 million in funding from multilateral assistance through international financial institutions (Heller);
19) Cut $446.9 million in Amtrak funding (Sessions);
20) Cut all funding by 5.5% and legislative branch spending by 11%, with certain exemptions, saving $22
21) Cut all funding down to fiscal year 2006 levels, with certain exemptions, saving $34 billion (Mulvaney).
Update: We originally said "133 Members (all Democrats) showed no appetite to cut spending by voting against every single spending cut. " That number should have been 95, with another 42 opposing every cut but one.