FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rebekah Bydlak
SPENDING WATCHDOG RELEASES FISCAL RECORD OF EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS SINCE 2009
SpendingTracker.org tallies over 4 million individual score and vote records
January 23, 2019 – The Institute for Spending Reform, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog announced the newest expansion of SpendingTracker.org on Wednesday. The group has collected legislative spending records dating back to 2009, creating the largest database of spending records in existence.
The Institute digitizes Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scores for every bill affecting spending and cross-references them with voting records to assign every Member of Congress an individual score.
Key takeaways include:
- In the 115th Congress, the average elected official – in both parties – has voted to spend roughly $1.58 trillion.
- The lowest-spending Representative during his time in office is Michigan’s Justin Amash, who voted to cut spending by roughly $165 billion in the most recent Congress; nearly tied with Amash is the second-most frugal, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie.
- Amash and Massie are the only Representatives who have voted for a net spending decrease during their overall time in office.
- While much has been written about its profligate spending, the 115th Congress also represents the first time that multiple elected officials have ended a session voting for a net spending cut (Amash, Massie, Tennessee’s Jimmy Duncan, Idaho’s Raúl Labrador, and Virginia’s Morgan Griffith in the House; Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Utah’s Mike Lee in the Senate).
Institute founder & president Jonathan Bydlak says that there was a good reason for creating the tool, which launched in 2017. “Our generation is increasingly burdened with unsustainable spending and debt, while the vast majority of politicians claim to be doing the right thing. Transparency into actual voting records is the missing piece.”
SpendingTracker.org now contains data going back to 2009, the 111th Congress. In a time when political memories have never been shorter, the tool contains roughly a decade of votes and impacts for anyone to easily access.
The Institute for Spending Reform is a non-partisan educational organization dedicated to changing the national conversation on spending and debt by providing practical and useful options for fixing the problem.
More information on the spending tracker, including full explanations of methodology and dataset, can be found at SpendingTracker.org