As you may know, the GOP announced YouCut two weeks ago.  The project allows anyone with an Internet connection or a phone with text messaging capabilities to vote on one of five spending cuts.  The cut with the most votes is put to an up or down vote on the House Floor each week.

The New Non-Reformed Welfare Program was the winner of the first week.

New Non-Reformed Welfare Program
The program was recently created to incentivize states to increase their welfare caseloads without requiring able-bodied adults to work, get job training, or otherwise prepare to move off of taxpayer assistance. Reforming the welfare program was one of the great achievements of the mid 1990s, saving taxpayers billions of dollars and ending the cycle of dependency on welfare. This new program, created in 2009 is a backdoor way to undo those reforms. The program currently costs approximately $2.5 billion a year. (Also proposed as part of the RSC Sunset Caucus.)

It was put to a vote last week and defeated 177 – 240.  Click here to see how members voted.

The winning cut this week is a proposal to eliminate federal employee pay raises, which will be voted on later in the week.

Eliminate Federal Employee Pay Raise
As part of his FY 2011 Budget submission President proposed raising federal civilian pay by 1.4% beginning in January of next year. This will be on top of the 2.0% raise federal civilian employees received this past January, the 3.9% raise they received the previous January, and the 3.5% raise they received the January before that. Freezing federal civilian pay at the current level for one year would save approximately $2 billion next year and $30 billion over ten years.

It’s pretty safe to say that this week’s cut, and all future cuts, will be defeated down party lines.  However, the YouCut program may give the GOP good ammo for the upcoming elections and enable them to make a case that the Dems aren’t serious about reining in our soaring deficit.

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