The House Republican Economic Recovery Working Group has launched a “first-of-its-kind” effort to give the American people a chance to vote on the web — or from their cell phones — on specific spending cuts that will be offered by Republicans on the House floor for a vote.
The idea is simple: each week the group, led by House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), will offer a slate of spending cuts to the general public for a vote.
Republicans will use a parliamentary procedure to “move to the previous question” to force floor votes on spending cuts prioritized by the online vote.
The spending cut with the most votes at the end of the week will be the meat of the “previous question” vote the following week.
For the time being, as the minority party, this is the means by which Republicans can force votes on specific spending cuts.
“Imagine if Congress was as focused on saving money as it is on spending money,” Cantor said. “Wouldn’t it be a nice change if Congress spent less time naming post offices — 62 and counting — and more time reducing wasteful spending?”
The slate of spending cuts are being produced from a range of sources including members identifying waste in their districts — to the over $375 billion in spending cuts the group recommended earlier this month in a letter to the president (pdf).
“There is no lack of input here,” Cantor said.
“Across this land common sense Americans are looking to Washington and they see the spending and say what the heck is going on?” said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) chairman of the Republican Study Committee and member of the group. “We’re partnering with the American people to look at the wasteful spending to say if Washington won’t prioritize, we’ll prioritize for you.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), top Republican on the House Budget Committee, says they want the input from cost cutters.
“We hear most here in Washington from those who want more spending,” Ryan said. “We want to give those who want spending cuts an opportunity to be heard.”
Included on the Economic Recovery Group are Cantor, Price, Ryan, Reps. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Peter Roskam (Ill.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.V.), Lynn Jenkins (Kan.), Kevin Brady (Texas), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Judy Biggert (Ill.) and Erik Paulson (Minn.).
To check out the slate of spending cuts each week and help prioritize the spending cuts with your vote, go here to the YouCut website.