New Senate Is Good News for Taxpayers, Group Says

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

( - Looking at the U.S. Senate, Tuesday's election was "very good news" for those who support limited government and lower taxes, a taxpayer watchdog group announced on Wednesday.

Come January 2005, taxpayers will have new allies in the Senate on critical votes on appropriations bills, budget process reform, pending energy and transportation bills bloated with pork, Social Security reform, and tax relief, NTU President John Berthoud said in a press release.

NTU was able to draw those conclusions, because most of the incoming senators have previous service in the House of Representatives, allowing the fiscal records of outgoing senators to be compared with those of most new senators.

The highlights, according to the NTU:

-- Four of the nine outgoing senators have an "F" rating.

-- Of the six incoming senators who previously served in the House, the lowest grade earned was a "B-minus." (Only three of the nine outgoing senators achieved a "B-" or better in NTU's 2003 rating.)

-- In five of the six cases where both outgoing and incoming senators had been graded by NTU, the incoming senator had a better mark. (In the sixth case - Oklahoma - both the outgoing and incoming senator had an "A.")

Bottom line, said Berthoud - in no case does a new senator have a lower grade than an outgoing senator.

The NTU rates lawmakers based on every roll call vote affecting fiscal policy.

For example, in 2003, NTU included 287 House and 269 Senate votes, assigning a "Taxpayer Score" to each Member of Congress as a way of determining each lawmaker's commitment to reducing or controlling federal spending, taxes, debt, and regulation.

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