Jonathan Bydlak: Keeping Track of Federal Lawmakers’ Spending Votes
In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, research fellow Jesse Hathaway is joined by Jonathan Bydlak, president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, talking about the effects of federal spending on taxpayers and consumers.
According to Bydlak, the Coalition to Reduce Spending has created a new tool to help people keep track of federal lawmakers votes on spending issues, tracking whether or not they are voting to grow or shrink the behemoth and allowing side-by-side comparisons of individual lawmakers.
Spending estimates for bills are taken from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the nonpartisan budget organization of the U.S. Congress. SpendingTracker keeps track of all bills increasing federal spending by more than $1 million, and only incorporates legislation that has been scored by CBO into our estimates. Those price tags are then correlated with voting records kept by the Sunlight Foundation and GovTrack.us, allowing people to see the cost of bills and what lawmakers are doing.
Bydlak says the new tool takes every bill for which a Congressman votes for or against, and sums up the monetary amount of spending in them, to get their Congressman’s “number.” The new website allows people to stay up-to-date on the cost of government, quantifying how individual lawmakers are fighting for or against taxpayers.