Monday, November 24th, 2014

GOP Pledge-O-Meter

Schedule at least one YouCut proposal every week


"Work with House committees and schedule at least one YouCut proposal each and every week. And the YouCut program will not be limited to just discretionary spending, but will also find ways to produce savings from mandatory spending."


Updates

YouCut proposals got substantial attention in House

Republicans introduced YouCut, a crowd-sourced program for cutting federal spending, when they were still in the minority in Congress. After the 2010 elections, the newly empowered House GOP beefed up the program, promising floor votes on spending cuts.

YouCut allowed citizens to vote online for proposed spending cuts that run the gamut of the federal bureaucracy. Past YouCut ideas include requiring the collection of unpaid taxes from federal employees, ending federal funding of National Public Radio and reducing the number of TSA agents in airports. After Republicans won the majority in the House, they had the power to bring more such proposals to votes, or at least push them through committees.

Many proposals went nowhere once they reached the Democrat-controlled Senate, but Megan Whittemore, spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, pointed to a couple that actually became law. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., introduced H.R. 3739, a bill to stop mine cleanup payments to states that had already completed the cleanups. That policy was modified and incorporated into a highway transportation bill enacted in July 2012, Whittemore said. And Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., introduced legislation to terminate federal funding of high-speed rail projects that was incorporated in an appropriations bill that became law.

At issue here is Cantor's promise to schedule at least one YouCut proposal proposal every week. Whittemore provided a list of about 30 bills introduced from the YouCut program. We checked their filing dates against the 112th Congress' legislative calendars. We found that the program didn't meet that benchmark of one every week, but numerous bills were filed throughout the months of 2011 and 2012. We rate this a Compromise.

Sources:

YouCut website, accessed Jan. 7, 2013

THOMAS, H.R. 3739, introduced Dec. 20, 2011

THOMAS, MAP-21, introduced April 16, 2012

THOMAS, H.R. 2811, introduced Aug. 5, 2011

THOMAS, H.R. 2112, introduced June 3, 2011

Daily Caller, "Republicans unveil YouCut II, now with real legislative power,” May 11, 2011

THOMAS, 112th Congress Days in Session - First Session

THOMAS, 112th Congress Days in Session - Second Session

Email and phone interview with Megan Whittemore, spokeswoman for Eric Cantor, Jan. 4, 2013