Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
May 7, 2001(202) 467-5300


Washington, D.C. – As members of Congress take stock of the budget debates, particularly the reduced size of President Bush’s tax cut and hundreds of billions extra in federal spending, three senators in particular seem triumphant.  Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, and Hillary Clinton?  Well, maybe them too, but Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is thinking of the three Republican senators who safeguarded the Washington waste status quo and nickle-and-dimed taxpayers: Senators Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Jim Jeffords of Vermont, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.  For their defense of bloated government against even the most reasonable spending restraint, and choosing to keep more of the taxpayers’ money, CAGW awards them the Porkers of the Month Award for May.

When it came time to debate the president’s spending and tax priorities, it is clear that the fiscal incontinence of the likes of Sen. Kennedy would press the tax cut down and spending up.  But taxpayers should be truly outraged to see three members of the “party of fiscal conservancy” following his lead.

During the budget debate, the Chafee-Jeffords-Specter tax-and-spend triumvirate voted to reduce Mr. Bush’s tax-relief proposal by $448 billion over 10 years.  The cocky Jeffords signaled his “aye” vote with a big thumbs up to the clerk, then crossed the aisle to shake the hand of Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana, a Democrat instrumental in the bid to reduce the tax cut.

Sen. Jeffords’ support of the Democrat plan over the Bush plan came after his failed effort to exchange his vote for $180 billion in new educational pork.  He picked the wrong man for such a bargain­ — President Bush has made clear his opposition to new waste and pork-barrel spending.  Not only this, the president has already raised the education budget 11 percent for fiscal year 2002 when the average for other federal agencies is 4 percent.  He took a principled stand while three of his own party in Congress abandoned theirs.

While Sen. Chafee has not yet been rated on his overall votes to cut waste, Senators Jeffords and Specter are tied for the lowest Republican rating on the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste’s 1999 Congressional Ratings.  Sen. Jeffords rates as the worst lifetime anti-waste Republican senator, and Sen. Specter is the fourth worst.

For crossing party lines when they were needed most, rejecting a fiscally sound and responsible budget, attempting to fatten an already generous educational budget without regard to how the money is spent, and general porkery, we name Senators Jeffords, Chafee and Specter the CAGW May Porkers of the Month.

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in government.  For more information, see CAGW's web site at



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