Topic: Taxpayers for Common Sense

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  • Top 10 senators seeking earmarks

    Top 10 senators seeking earmarks

    Senate leaders decided to scrap a 1,900-page omnibus spending bill that contained $8 billion in home state spending projects – otherwise known as earmarks, pet projects, or "pork." Government spending and the deficit became an issue in the midterm election, and lawmakers are keenly aware of voter anger about large, catch-all bills that are quickly passed. The following senators have been ranked by the monetary value of earmarks they backed, whether alone or with others, in the now-scuttled omnibus spending bill. The earmark process became more transparent with the 2006 Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which required creation of a database of all government spending. The watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense used the database to compile this ranking. Sen. Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma, who co-sponsored the legislation, also has a list of the disclosed earmarks in the omnibus bill on his website. *This is the amount requested both alone and with other members of Congress.

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  • Senate's new farm bill will waste billions on subsidies, critics say

    Crop insurance subsidies help farmers survive tough years, all agree. But critics say they are much too generous – and Congress could increase them further in its new farm bill.

  • It's 'common sense' – or is it? The politics of Obama's new favorite phrase.

    Politicians from the president to the tea party use the rhetoric of 'common sense' to support their thinking on key issues. But is the phrase really telling us anything at all?

  • Objections raised over additional projects lumped with Sandy relief

    Some lawmakers are cautioning against passing the $50.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package, which includes $150 million in aid for fisheries in Alaska, Mississippi and the Northeast. House Republicans have introduced an alternative proposal.

  • Congress moves toward passage of highway bill, takes action on student loans

    The burst of legislating comes just four months before the November elections, giving lawmakers achievements to show off to voters who have increasingly held Congress in low esteem.

  • In surprise move, GOP leaders admit defeat in payroll tax battle

    House GOP leaders had wanted to offset the cost of a payroll tax extension by spending cuts. But their decision Monday suggests that the political cost of a stalemate was too high.

  • Another Solyndra already? Some worry even worse is coming.

    Another Solyndra already? Some worry even worse is coming.

    Beacon Power, like Solyndra a recipient of a federal loan guarantee under the DOE's renewable energy program, has declared bankruptcy, leaving taxpayers to pay the tab. But the firm is tiny. Bigger ones are out there.

  • If Senate repeals ethanol subsidies, what happens at the gas pump?

    If Senate repeals ethanol subsidies, what happens at the gas pump?

    The Senate vote on repealing tax subsidies for ethanol producers has big political ramifications, but the impact on the industry could be minimal. A continuing federal mandate that requires refiners to blend ethanol into gasoline provides adequate support for producers, experts say.

  • Budget hawks: Does US need to give gas and oil companies $41 billion a year?

    Budget hawks: Does US need to give gas and oil companies $41 billion a year?

    As President Obama and Congress look for budget cuts, some experts say federal energy subsidies are ripe for trimming. Among oil companies, nuclear power, and coal, who gets what from US taxpayers?

  • Why the budget deficit is so hard for Congress to shrink

    Why the budget deficit is so hard for Congress to shrink

    Congress has less and less leeway for closing the budget deficit as outlays for entitlement programs grow.

  • Top 10 senators seeking earmarks

    Top 10 senators seeking earmarks

    Senate leaders decided to scrap a 1,900-page omnibus spending bill that contained $8 billion in home state spending projects – otherwise known as earmarks, pet projects, or "pork." Government spending and the deficit became an issue in the midterm election, and lawmakers are keenly aware of voter anger about large, catch-all bills that are quickly passed. The following senators have been ranked by the monetary value of earmarks they backed, whether alone or with others, in the now-scuttled omnibus spending bill. The earmark process became more transparent with the 2006 Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which required creation of a database of all government spending. The watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense used the database to compile this ranking. Sen. Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma, who co-sponsored the legislation, also has a list of the disclosed earmarks in the omnibus bill on his website. *This is the amount requested both alone and with other members of Congress.