Un-FIT!? | Citizens Against Government Waste


The WasteWatcher

In April, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that the House Republican Policy Committee had created the “Fiscal Integrity Task Force (FIT).”  Taxpayer groups in Washington were elated.  Finally, Republicans in Congress were rediscovering their fiscal soul.  The goal of the FIT, according to Rep. Boehner, is “to put fiscal integrity into government budgeting, taxing, and spending, and to demand that Congress run the federal government like a family budget.” 

But when FIT members, had an opportunity to demonstrate their new-found mettle with the bloated $300 billion Farm Bill, 55 percent of their members failed to vote to cut spending.  That included the FIT co-chairmen of the task force, Reps. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) and Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who voted for the Farm Bill. 

In addition, 57 percent of the Policy Committee, a group of legislators that is supposed to develop “sound policy and legislative initiatives” and provide “forward-looking Republican thinking,” voted in favor of the bill.  Taxpayers have reason to be skeptical when staggeringly expensive and wasteful proposals are being supported by a majority of key Republican legislators at the same time they claim they can bring fiscal sanity back to Capitol Hill.

Republicans in Congress need to understand that public relations campaigns and clever catchphrases to demonstrate they have rediscovered their fiscally conservative credentials are empty platitudes if they are not followed up with real actions.  Support for the horrendously expensive Farm Bill that is larded-up with subsidies for wealthy farmers, along with policies that hurt our trading partners, distort the rural economy and drive up food prices will not get government off Americans’ backs and out of their wallets.  This is old-fashioned go-along-to-get-along politics, not leadership.

Taxpayers do not want a Tax-and-Spend Congress, nor do they want a Spend-and-Spend-Again Congress, either.  Unless there is real evidence of a majority of so-called fiscal conservative Republicans consistently voting in a fiscally conservative manner, their words will continue to ring hollow.

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