May 12th, 2010
07:02 PM ET
13 years ago

House Republicans unveil initiative to target gov't spending

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" House Republicans launched a new website Wednesday designed to show their party is responding to voter backlash about excessive government spending."]Washington (CNN) - House Republicans launched a new effort Wednesday designed to show their party is responding to voter backlash about excessive government spending.

Dubbed "YouCut," the initiative invites the public to vote online, or text on their cell phone, which government programs they want to put on the chopping block.

The House GOP will list five federal programs each week on a new website and ask people to vote for which one they think deserves to be cut. Republican leaders pledged that they will fight for a full vote each week on the House floor to eliminate the program that gets the most votes.

House GOP Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, who unveiled the effort Wednesday, explained, "This is meant to not only listen to the public as to where they feel their government should be headed, but also to change the culture of spending in Washington."

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, said, "The bias is in favor of taxing, spending and borrowing and we want to turn that around."

But given their minority status in the House, and the rules giving Democrats total control over the agenda, even Cantor admits Republicans don't have much chance of actually succeeding in eliminating specific government programs. Republicans plan to use weekly procedural votes on the floor and offer amendments tacked onto a variety of bills to attempt to paint Democrats as defending Washington spending.

House Democrats immediately dismissed the GOP plan as a political gimmick, aimed at bolstering their credentials on spending in the run up to the midterm elections.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office released a "top 5" list of why the Cantor project shouldn't be taken seriously, including a jab at the House Republicans' own spending record when they ran the House - "When they were in charge, Republicans spent like there was no tomorrow, turning a record surplus into huge deficits and debt that made managing the Bush recession even more difficult."

Filed under: Eric Cantor • GOP • House • Popular Posts
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    I vote to eliminate Eric Cantor's salary. It is a huge waste of money.

    May 12, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Cut salaries for representatives and senators by 25%. $140,000 should be maxmum. Cut their retirement benefits by 50%. Cut their medical – let THEM pay their own way like we do.

    That's a good start. BUT only a start. (Cut out all their travel too, maybe they will get some work done if they stay out of airports).

    May 12, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Amunaka

    Who chooses what federal programs people can vote to cut..I mean is it all federal programs or just the ones repubs don't like ...I like this voting thing though hope they apply it to ..well just about everything ..

    May 12, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |

    This as is stupid as stupid could be. What a nonsensical nut-job concept much like th ebridge to nowhere!

    May 12, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Independent in NY

    I'm all for fiscal conservatism, too bad the GOP refused to carry the banner when they had power.

    Will the subsidies to big oil be on the list we can vote for?

    May 12, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ever heard the word "clueless", well here's looking at it, Eric Cantor.

    May 12, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. Jan Kierson

    Unfortunately for our country, it's too late. The democrats have ruined our economy without a republican vote, and there is no way out now. We will be bailed out by Germany next – just like Greece. Will you foolish people keep putting those spend/spend/spend democrats back in office? I suppose if it's okay to be bankrupt for the 15 trillions deficit, it's okay to make the deficit go even higher? Now we can see how democrats fund their campaigns and personal lives. No wonder the USA is about to go over the edge.

    May 12, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. Republicans is smart in the head area

    I'm in favor of cutting salaries for all members of congress. Is that going to be an option?

    May 12, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. Leslie

    I'm sure they will make the average American citizen cuts and leave the rich alone!

    May 12, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    You've got to be kidding me?
    These are people that campaigned for a job to represent our interests- that's how this works.
    They should not need this grandstand move to know what Americans want. what do you bet the ads for this will run in heavily Republican districts and on conservative talk radio.
    I guess they needed a new tact since the scare tactics and name calling is getting old.

    May 12, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  11. SMH

    GOP...Please stop with the gimmicks, the only ones who will buy into this crap are the ones who already support you.

    May 12, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. El Gordo

    America's Conservative leaders asked for our votes, saying they were the people who could make the hard decisions. But, when it comes to cutting expenditures, they chicken out, fearing a backlash from the program's constituents.

    All this means is that they will cherry pick a few programs like a federal study of hog farming so that people can vote against it, then they can play the role of Sir Lancelot attacking the dragon of the Obama Administration while they pat each other on the back.

    End result: nothing.

    Conservatism is shallow and dishonest.

    May 12, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. one voice

    What a JOKE. After the Bush Administration devistated EVERY aspect of our economy and grew a record defecit, these CLOWNS want to talk crap. Corporate shills is all you are, go lie somewhere else.

    May 12, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Here is my suggestion of what to cut:
    1. Congressional Pensions
    2. Congressional Office Budgets
    3. Congressional Salaries

    Something else that can cut waste (which I have suggested before) – ensure every "earmark" added to every bill carries the author's name. Then if the author votes against the bill, he obviously does not want his earmark, therefore if the bill passes, the earmark is struck and whatever monies are associated with that earmark reverts back to the discretionary budget of whatever government department was in charge of releasing those funds. Bet that gets more votes on gotta pass bills!

    May 12, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. 21k

    how 'bout we start with any "faith-based" programs. we need to run our government based on facts, not mythology.

    May 12, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. one voice

    Thanks to FOX NEWS, half of the population thinks these lies are true. The Republicans caused this mess and it will take the Democrars to pull us out of it. That's the only way folks, it's all up to you- don't blow it.

    May 12, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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