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Congress Greatly Exceeds Drunken Sailors in Spending

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation released their annual study today of the voting records of members of Congress for 2005 and 2006. The press release (with links to policy paper 161 and databases with member records) begins:

Since 2001, not a single Senator or Representative has cast votes whose net effect would reduce the level of federal outlays.

For the partisan observers, an interesting highlight was that:

Partisan differences over spending activity trended to be relatively small. About $22 billion separated the voting agendas of a typical House Democrat and Republican.

Jeff Dircksen, who managed the vote tally project, noted that:

"By the end of the 109th Congress, Republicans would have been hard-pressed to list any programs that they had eliminated and had not been resurrected in one form or another over the past 12 years . . .  Now, Democrats must attempt to live up to their campaign promises on spending restraint and earmark reform. With concerns about pork-filled continuing resolutions and emergency spending bills, as well as disagreements over what constitutes an 'earmark,' the new majority party will have quite a challenge from without and within during the months to come in the 110th Congress."

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