U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) on Saturday in Medford introduced Oregon to the "YouCut" program, an innovative new online initiative launched by House Republicans to the American people a direct connection to helping Congress cut wasteful federal spending.
"Our national debt is simply unsustainable," Rep. Walden said. "Not only is it immoral to keep passing along such debt to our children and our grandchildren, but our debt and deficit levels are hurting the economy and the prospects for job creation and future economic growth."
Congress has long had a spending problem. It is not just that Congress spends too much (it does), but the whole legislative process and culture of Congress is set up to find new ways to spend more money. It is almost unheard of for Congress to consider bills to actually eliminate wasteful programs or reduce unnecessary spending.
In fact, more time has been devoted to considering bills to name post offices (62 and counting) or congratulate sports teams (also 62 and counting) than to considering bills to reduce spending.
The YouCut project is designed to challenge Congress's culture of spending. It is a first of its kind effort designed to engage the public in refocusing Congress's priorities. With a deficit near $1.5 trillion, it shouldn't be too much to ask of Congress to spend some time debating bills to actually reduce spending.
How it Works:
The project revolves around a very simple two-step process:
1. Each week, House Republicans will post online (at http://republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut ...or just Google "YouCut") a list of five proposals to reduce wasteful or unnecessary federal spending. The public will have a chance to vote online or on their cell phones on the proposal they would most like to see Congress take up the next week.
2. And the next week House Republicans will force the House to vote on whether or not to take up and debate the bill.
Each week, House Republicans will post relevant floor speeches, bill summaries, and vote tallies online for the public to review. The public will also have an opportunity to recommend their proposals to reduce wasteful spending.
The proposals put forward for consideration as a part of this project will not in and of themselves solve our deficit and debt problems. The YouCut project is not about finding the one silver-bullet to our debt problems. It is designed, rather, to challenge Washington's culture of spending and replace it with one of savings. After all, if Congress can't bring itself to make the small decisions to reduce wasteful spending, how can we ever trust them with the big decisions that must be made?