Once upon a time, Republicans cared about spending and budget deficits but no more. In fact, by analyzing voting records in Congress, we find that the GOP is every bit as responsible for the out of control spending as the Democrats. 

The Coalition to Reduce Spending has created a website called SpendingTracker.org where you can view and compare 10 years of spending votes by each member of Congress broken down by two-year terms.

The Heartland Institute used the website to broadly analyze spending in the 115th Congress. Its analysis found that there wasn’t a whole lot of difference between Republicans and Democrats. Members of Congress from both parties support spending inordinate amounts of money.

Policy advisor Jonathan Bydlak said the average member of the 115th Congress from either party voted to increase spending roughly $1.58 trillion.

“Overall, there’s not too much difference between spending by Democrats and Republicans,” he said.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Bydlak said two current members of Congres have voted for net spending decreases through their overall time in office — Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) has voted to cut spending by roughly $130 billion since he took his seat in 2019, and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) voted for about $56 billion in spending decreases since going to D.C. in 2012.

There were also a few Republicans who voted for net spending decreases during the last two-year congressional session. In addition to Amash and Massie, Rep Jimmy Duncan (R-TN), Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), and Rep Morgan Griffith (R-VA), along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) all voted for overall cuts.

SpendingTracker calculates spending by simply adding new tax dollars voted for by each member and subtracting spending reductions they vote for,

“Our generation is increasingly burdened with unsustainable spending and debt, while the vast majority of politicians claim to be doing the right thing,” Bydlak said. “Transparency into actual voting records is the missing piece.”




Mike Maharrey

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