Government Spending

Club for Growth Releases Annual Congressional Scorecard

Doug Sachtleben - April 28th, 2016

Washington, DC – Today, the Club for Growth released its 2015 Congressional Scorecard, which ranks the voting behavior of Members of Congress based on issues relating to limited government and economic growth.

To view the Club for Growth’s 2015 Congressional Scorecard and all prior scorecards, click here.

“Despite slight progress in 2015, Congress has a lot of room for improvement on pro-growth policies,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “The number of Members receiving the Club’s Defender of Economic Freedom award is up, but still represents only a small percentage of the Republican majorities in Congress. Economic freedom should be a leading theme in the policies coming out of Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, too many Republicans are still committed to big government and big spending, which makes it all the more important that we recognize those lawmakers who are fighting daily to shrink government and the federal bureaucracy that is choking our free markets and the economy.”

This year, 37 Members of Congress will receive the Club for Growth’s Defender of Economic Freedom award. Starting in 2011, the Club for Growth required Representatives and Senators to not only score 90 or better on votes cast in a year, but to also maintain a lifetime rating of at least 90.

The Club for Growth 2015 Congressional Scorecard is based on 29 votes taken in the House of Representatives and 25 votes taken in the Senate.

Highlights from the Club for Growth’s 2015 Congressional Scorecard

Only one United States Senator received a perfect score in 2015: Senator Mike Lee (UT).

Senators Ben Sasse (NE), Marco Rubio (FL), Ted Cruz (TX), Jeff Flake (AZ), Tom Cotton (AR), and Jim Risch (ID) had 2015 scores and lifetime scores high enough to qualify for the Defender of Economic Freedom award.

Thirty House members (up from 25 last year) who received scores of 90 or better in 2015 also had lifetime scores of 90 or better to qualify for the Defender of Economic Freedom award.

Three House members received 100% ratings in 2015. Of those, two had a lifetime rating of 100: Congressmen John Ratcliffe (TX-04) and Tim Huelskamp (KS-01). Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) also had a 100% rating in 2015.

Six Senate Democrats scored zero in 2015, and the highest score of any Senate Democrat, by Senator Joe Manchin (WV), was a mere 23.

The lowest scoring Republican was Senator Susan Collins (MN) with a 25.

Republican leadership scores in 2015 were:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) – 62

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn – 63

House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-01) – 73

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) – 68

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01) – 65

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) – 58

The Club for Growth is the nation’s leading group promoting economic freedom through legislative involvement, issue advocacy, research, and education.

The Club’s website can be found at

David McIntosh On Fox Business To Discuss Why Trump Is Not A Conservative

Stacy French - March 30th, 2016


Freedom Caucus Rejects Budget From Republican Leadership

Doug Sachtleben - March 18th, 2016

Announcement from the House Freedom Caucus on March 14, 2016

“From the beginning of the budget process, the House Freedom Caucus has called for a Republican budget that shows the American people we are serious about addressing Washington’s out-of-control spending problem. Our Members have put forward multiple proposals that would rein in spending through real budget reforms. House leadership has continually asked the Republican conference to support President Obama’s budget levels, even though the national debt passed the $19 trillion mark in January, and the Congressional Budget Office has reported that the federal deficit increased by $105 billion this year. As a group, we have decided that we cannot support the current budget at the $1.07 trillion level for discretionary spending. We continue to hope that we can work with the House Republican conference to write a conservative budget that reduces spending while prioritizing our defense needs and the priorities of the American people.”

What you need to know about the Omnibus bill (2015)

Mr. Andrew Roth - December 15th, 2015

In October, Congress agreed to suspend the debt limit by more than a trillion dollars and increase federal spending by $80 billion over the next two years, smashing the spending caps set in 2011 by the Budget Control Act. But that was just the beginning. What Congress did in October was to draw a blueprint for the impending omnibus spending bill, which is currently being finalized in Congress.

The omnibus bill, much like the one passed in 2013, will be a massive $1.1 trillion piece of legislation that will be like a Christmas tree, filled with gifts to both parties. An Omnibus puts all of the federal government’s discretionary spending for the rest of the fiscal year into an all-or-nothing package. It will likely be similar to the omnibus bill passed a year ago; that one was a grotesque 1,600-page piece of legislation.

It’s not hard to see why Congress would have trouble passing such a monstrosity. Fiscal conservatives are wary of it for obvious reasons: increased debt, federal waste, etc.  That’s why the process for omnibus bills usually involves appeasement to both sides of the aisle, hoping to make just enough lawmakers pleased to get to 218 votes in the House.  As a part of this process, lawmakers attach a mishmash of so-called policy riders, with the theory that reluctant Members could be swayed to vote for the whole package.

Another problem with the process is that Congress once again waits until the last minute to get anything done. This gives bargaining power to Democrats in Congress, who threaten a government shutdown that the media will blame on Republicans. It also means resorting to another 1,000+ page bill in the place of what should be a more deliberate and detailed appropriations process.

Conservatives to Ryan & McConnell: No Obamacare Bailout

Doug Sachtleben - November 24th, 2015

Today, conservative leaders, including Club for Growth President David McIntosh, sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to continue the policy contained in recent appropriations bills restricting the use of Obamacare’s “Risk Corridor” program:


November 24, 2015


Speaker Paul Ryan
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
S-230, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell,


As you begin negotiations over legislation to continue government funding past December 11, 2015, we the undersigned individuals and organizations urge you to continue the policy contained in recent appropriations bills restricting the use of Obamacare’s “Risk Corridor” program.


Many of us signed on to a letter last year1 describing the Risk Corridor program (Sec. 1342 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare”) in detail and outlining why we believed it was important to restrict its ability to serve as a “taxpayer bailout” for Obamacare-participating insurance companies. Fortunately, Congress was able to insert such language into the last omnibus appropriations act (specifically Division G, Title II, Sec. 227 of P.L. 113-235)2.