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Cutting government spending and ending earmarks
Leading the fight to ban earmarks
In addition to never requesting a single earmark during her time in the U.S. Senate, Claire’s been leading the charge to end the practice of wasteful earmark spending permanently. She successfully:
- Compelled Senate leadership to enforce a temporary earmark ban for four straight years, an important first step to ending wasteful pet projects like the Bridge to Nowhere; and,
- Introduced bipartisan legislation in 2011 that would permanently ban earmarks in Washington, that was endorsed by the Citizens Against Government Waste, Taxpayers for Common Sense and other organizations that advocate against government waste and mismanagement.
Working to cap government spending
Throughout her time in the Senate, Claire has been on the forefront of efforts to restore fiscal sanity to Washington, writing legislation to curb government spending and bring common sense to Washington’s budget process. Varying pieces of bipartisan legislations she introduced would:
- Make sure Washington isn’t spending beyond its means by capping federal spending; and,
- Impose five-year binding caps on all discretionary spending.
Holding government contractors accountable for wasteful spending
Wasteful contracting practices, particularly in the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, waste billions of dollars of taxpayer money every year. During her time in the Senate, Claire worked to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in government contracting. Claire’s efforts to combat government waste have drawn praise from watchdog groups and millions of dollars in attacks from secretive special interests because she:
- Established the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in 2007, drawing inspiration from Harry Truman’s “Truman Commission.” The commission investigated government waste in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;
- Created the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight (SOCO) in 2009, the first committee in Congress ever dedicated entirely to reducing waste in government contracting; and,
- Saved hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from contractor fraud through work she undertook as Chairman of SOCO.
Passing pay-as-you-go rules to keep Congress honest
Claire has long supported pay-as-you-go rules that prevent Congress from spending taxpayer dollars or passing tax cuts without paying for them first. Just like families across Missouri, Claire believes Washington shouldn’t be spending money it doesn’t have. In the Senate, Claire introduced the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act that:
- Required any increases in mandatory spending or tax cuts be deficit neutral; and,
- Became the basis of a bill that passed the Senate and was signed into law by the President in 2010.