May 12th, 2010
07:02 PM ET
12 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. Aaron

    I wonder if their honey Halliburton is on the table to be cut. Doubt it.

    May 12, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Sick and tired of Lazy GOP

    I would like to suggest the first cut – Can we cut this lazy GOP Rep?

    I mean really, if he and his party spent just ONE FIFTH of their time trying to help with the problems that he and his party created, instead of politicking on the tax payers monies, or better yet, come up with some ideas to help the country instead of beating the country down. I wish these guys – GOP – would stop wasting the tax payers money:(

    P.S. If government is so bad, why is it that the GOP wants to be a part of government?

    May 12, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" Economics has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    I doubt "stopping elective religious wars" will make the list.

    May 12, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Larry

    Gawd, Cantor, You and the rest of the Republican hypocrits need to give it a rest.

    George Dubya added $5.5 trillion to the national debt while he was in office. Most of this was spent on the Iraq war, a war that was immoral and should have been dubbed illegal by the U.N. There was absolutely no reason to attack and occupy Iraq. And now all of a sudden you Republican clowns are talking about fiscal responsibility?

    President Obama is not going to fix in a year what it took you Republicans 8 years to destroy. This has been the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and it took from 1929 to thru WWII to get out of that (that's 16 years, for someone with a very small brain, like yourself).

    Everytime you two-faced Republicans open your mouths you give us another reason not to vote for you!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. stevegee

    Cut? How about we repeal every single government program that's been legislated since the Constitution? Then reinstate only the essential ones like ... oh right, there aren't any.

    May 12, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    Where were all these Republicans when GW Bush started two unfunded wars? When GW Bush used reconciliation to push through tax cuts for the wealthy during wartime – something UNPRECEDENTED in our nation's history?

    This is not about fiscal responsibility; this is about the Republicans' desire to eliminate all social spending and privatize everything – even though time and time again it's been proven that profit as a motive DOES NOT bring out the best in people (Wall Street, Enron, Haliburton, etc., etc., etc.).

    Keep in mind, the Republicans hope and pray that Americans have the memory span and intelligence of a gnat – because those are the prerequisites for voting Republican and against your own self-interest.

    May 12, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. Gil

    Start with the wasted $2,000,000,000,000 on the military wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!

    May 12, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Pragmatic

    Wow! Finally something other than "just vote no!" ... I'll be interesting in what their choices are ... all social programs? Any military? Tax cuts for the already wealthy ... haven't heard much from the small government souls recently ... with the financial reform. terrorists, and the oil spill – all better handled by that awful "big government' ....

    May 12, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. Dan

    How about cutting all tax subsidies for large corporations? Somehow, I think Cantor and his cronies will leave that idea off the table.

    May 12, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. ib

    The democrats won't listen. They are like a kid in a candy store just can't keep their hands of of the cookie jar. Trouble is all this out of controll spending is going to destroy this country. Wake up please people we have to get people in Congress no matter what party that will stop this stupid out of controll spending.

    May 12, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Jen


    Oh my. Well done, Eric. If you succeed in getting all of these things cut, you've managed to cut $3.1 Billion per year from a budget of about $3.5 TRILLION per year.

    Funny how Republicans give lip service to cutting spending, except when they're actually in charge, they increase spending and cut revenues (taxes.) Americans have not paid this little in taxes since the Truman Administration. It's time to grow up, increase revenues, and start properly funding our country. Our infrastructure is decaying, public schools are a mess, and instead of fixing these things we're paying for two wars, cutting taxes for the rich, and giving gigantic tax breaks to big corporations. Pathetic.

    May 12, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    The Democrats all by themselves spent $ trillions and set up the country to require $ trillions more each year to run on things that the majority of Americans ( especially the ones who pay the bills ) have been very clear we do not need or want.

    What will happen to the Democrats in November and in 2012 is a direct result of their greedy actions and complete disregard for the taxpayer. We will not forget what they have done over the past year, in spite of what their political advisors are telling them.

    May 12, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. Smith in Oregon

    As the Republican lawmakers announce their latest war on America, it is time for Democratic party members and Democratic lawmakers to declare war on the Republican party of No, No Ideas, No Help, No Solutions and No Compassion for unemployed Americans whose factory's Republican led lawmakers helped move overseas to avoid fair labor practices and federal taxation.

    May 12, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Newt Limebaugh Hannity Rove IV are nothing but a hack ...always playing to the GOP right wing. What have you accomplished????......that's are a piece of garbage

    May 12, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. Marge

    Oh dear old cantor the pander. He is the worst piece of crap I have seen but then he comes from the fractured state of Virginia what can you expect. they 'll ruin everything as per usual. Then they'll elect a Democrat to clean up their mess. They always do.

    May 12, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. Angie in Denver

    This is a pandering ploy if I've ever seen one. GOPers when will you finally get to work for all of the American people and not just the ones who are so upset that the election was one by President Obama.

    I am more grateful each day that McCain/Palin lost the election.

    May 12, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  17. A disillusioned Republican

    What new schemes will the idiots come up with next? Cantor has never been accused of being a rational thinker. If he is so concerned about government spending, where was he during the Bush years? During that time, he never saw a spending bill he didn't vote for.

    May 12, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  18. lil

    If it wasnt for you guys we would'nt be in the mess we are in. You let Bush and chenny do what they wanted to, now you want to save money
    and cut spending. When the President is cutting taxes for the middle class you are trying to cut taxes for the rich (yourselves).
    Republican and tea partier are only looking out for themselves they sure arent worried about the rest of us.
    People dont be fooled by these liars.

    May 12, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  19. Jeff Clemetson of San Diego

    Easy – Iraq war, Iraq war, Iraq war and um, Iraq war

    May 12, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Rowe

    While it's a nice idea to have this kind of information (which programs the public supports cutting), there are two problems with the approach:

    1. Since it's a Republican site, you'll get typical partisan answers. I'll trust scientifically conducted opinion polls when it comes to public support for cutting programs. Without scientific objectivity, this is just an exercise in bloviating.

    2. The Republicans controlled Congress from 1994-2006 and the Executive Branch from 2001-2009 and never cut a single program. In fact, spending increased during that time. All they did was CUT TAXES, which was simply pandering for votes, and made the deficit explode! Thus, while they may talk big, they have no credibility when it comes to making government smaller, cheaper, or more efficient. They had plenty of chances to do any of those things, but didn't.

    May 12, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. Turnabout is Fair Play

    This isn't the Wheel of dam Fortune or something stupid like that, the money being spent by the government is ESSENTIAL to getting us out of the economic mess neo-cons left this country in; you think that the economy would just clear itself up with NO spending at all? It takes spending money to MAKE money and the economy is no different. Play this stupid game Republicans to pass the time because it will have no effect. You are in the MINORITY so all you can do is play games on a website; let the big boys on the Left continue to pull our country out of it's mess.

    May 12, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Cool. I hope they actually pay attention to the results.

    May 12, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. Linda

    What a bunch of idiots! Everyone knows that you can stuff the ballot box on a computer which is why we fought so hard against no paper rails for election votes on computers.
    This is just another form of rabble rousing so that the right wing can get on their and vote to cut every social program we have in this great country.

    Why not suggest some kind of doable positive thing for the nation? They seem to know nothing about anything positive or how to really help in these difficult times that their party created over the past years of tax cuts for the wealthy, war profiteering and just plain robbery!

    May 12, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. Pam, Eugene, OR

    The Republicans are asking you to share your ideas with them because they don't have any of their own.
    Come on GOP. Do the work and come up with a plan of your own. This is just admitting you are clueless!

    May 12, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I cannot stand looking at the face of that lying, little weasel Cantor!

    May 12, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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