Monday, October 5, 2009

Ever Hear Of The Congressional "Sunset Caucus" To Reduce The Size Of Government? Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz Is A Co-Chair

Thanks to Salt Lake Crawlmeister Glen Warchol, I've learned about the existence of a semi-official group of U.S. House members who've dedicated themselves to reducing waste and redundancy in government - one program at a time. They refer to themselves as the "Sunset Caucus". And Utah's Third District Congressman Jason Chaffetz, despite being a rookie in his first term, is a co-chair of the Caucus, thus wielding clout significantly in excess of his rookie status. This type of influence is good for the Beehive State. Rep. Chaffetz further explained his participation in this group in an October 4th Deseret News article.

Although I could find no stand-alone website for the Sunset Caucus, it is the brainchild of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) and chairman, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). In his press release about the Caucus, Rep. Price identified its purpose as to protect taxpayers by shrinking the size of government – one wasteful, duplicative, or unnecessary program at a time. They seek to ensure that House members put their money where their mouth is and force votes to eliminate needless government bureaucracy.

Each member of the RSC Sunset Caucus will:
-- Adopt one or more federal program they believe has outlived its usefulness or never should have been enacted.
-- Publicly champion the repeal or de-funding of the program(s).
-- Offer an amendment during the relevant appropriations bill to defund the program(s).
-- Introduce stand alone legislation to sunset the targeted program(s).

An initial list of targeted programs includes the unspent portion of the Economic Stimulus Package, the Presidential Election Fund, Americorps, the National Endowment for the Arts, Amtrak, the Nuclear Waste Fund, the Visa Lottery Program, Funding for GOP and Democrat Conventions, Farm Subsidies for Mohair, the Legal Services Corporation, the International Fund for Ireland, Enhancing Education Through Technology, Education Department Attache in Paris, Sugar Subsidies, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Educational, Cultural, Apprenticeship, and Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts, Funding for Official Federal Employee Work Time for the Use of Union Activities, Coast Guard's LORAN-C Radio Investigation System, Payments to Palau to take Gitmo Detainees, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Local Government Climate Change Grants, Repeal of Davis–Bacon. And more will be targeted in the future.

One of the group's major concerns is the continued growth of the national deficit (as distinguished from the national debt). While the annual deficit grew steadily during the Bush Administration, it has grown exponentially under the Obama regime. Obama's budget calls for the public debt to double within five years and to triple within ten years. Already, this year's deficit is projected to be $1.84 trillion — four times the next highest deficit in U.S. history. By his own words in February 2009, Obama inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit amassed over an eight-year period; this means that Obama has added over $500 trillion alone in less than a year.

The complete roster of the Sunset Caucus, as of the date the press release was published (June 17th, 2009, according to Utah Policy):

Tom Price (GA), RSC Chair
Eric Cantor (VA), also the U.S. House Republican Whip
Kevin Brady (TX), co-chair
Jason Chaffetz (UT), co-chair
Todd Akin (MO)
Steve Austria (OH)
Michelle Bachmann (MN)
Roscoe Bartlett (MD)
Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Paul Broun (GA)
John Campbell (CA)
Eric Cantor (VA)
Mike Coffman (CO)
Tom Cole (OK)
Michael Conaway (TX)
Mary Fallin (OK)
Jeff Flake (AZ)
John Fleming (LA)
Virginia Foxx (NC)
Scott Garrett (NJ)
Phil Gingrey (GA)
Bob Goodlatte (VA)
Jeb Hensarling (TX)
Duncan Hunter (CA)
Jim Jordan (OH)
Steve King (IA)
John Kline (MN)
Doug Lamborn (CO)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO)
Connie Mack (FL)
Donald Manzullo (IL)
Tom McClintock (CA)
Buck McKeon (CA)
Randy Neugebauer (TX)
Pete Olson (TX)
Joe Pitts (PA)
Bill Posey (FL)
Phil Roe (TN)
Ed Royce (CA)
Steve Scalise (LA)
Pete Sessions (TX)
Cliff Stearns (FL)

Utah residents, particularly those living within the boundaries of the Third Congressional District, should contact Rep. Chaffetz HERE and express their appreciation for his participation in this caucus. Also consider suggesting other programs to be targeted for sunsetting. And for the rest of you, if your Congress Member does not appear on this list, contact that person and urge him or her to join.

1 comment:

MickeyWhite said...

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her unconstitutional votes at :