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Trent Lott on Budget & Economy

Republican Jr Senator (MS)


1981: Pushed for $80B cut in federal spending

The first critical vote on the Gramm-Latta Budget Act came in 1981. A cornerstone of Reaganomics, Gramm-Latta aimed to cut federal spending by approximately $80 billion.

A professor with a doctorate in economics, Phil Gramm had real authority on the subject; he staked his reputation on the vote, and he lobbied his fellow Democrats endlessly to join him, particularly those from the South. We saw to it that the bill also carried the name of Delbert Latta (R, OH). His sponsorship allowed the Conservative Democratic Forum to sell the issue as bipartisan.

The voting was tough and close. The speaker of the house, Tip O'Neill, left the speaker's chair to badger Sam Hall (D, TX) to vote against the bill. I felt the outcome to the nation was important enough for me to break a rule, so I went over to the Democratic side of the aisle and said, "Sam, this is a chance for you to make history. Do the right thing to control federal spending." Rep. Hall voted with us.

Source: Herding Cats, by Trent Lott, p. 85 Aug 29, 2006

Negotiated 1998 budget: first one balanced since 1969

Economic growth in the first quarter of 1997 was reported to be 5.6%, which pushed the estimated deficit down to $75 billion, about a quarter of what it was when I took office. On May 2, I announced that, at long last, I had reached a balanced budget agreement with Speaker Gingrich and Senator Lott and the congressional negotiations for both parties. Senator Tom Daschle also announced his support for the agreement. Dick Gephardt did not, but I was hoping he would come around once he had a chance to review it.

I met the Republicans halfway on the amount of Medicare savings. The Republicans accepted a smaller tax cut, the child health insurance program, and the big education increase. We had produced the first balanced budget since 1969, and a good one to boot. Senator Lott and Speaker Gingrich had worked with us in good faith, and Erskine Bowles, with his negotiating skills and common sense, had kept things going at critical moments.

Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.754-755 Jun 21, 2004

Voted YES on paying down federal debt by rating programs' effectiveness.

Amendment intends to pay down the Federal debt and eliminate government waste by reducing spending on programs rated ineffective by the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART).

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

My amendment says we are going to take about $18 billion as a strong signal from the Congress that we want to support effective programs and we want the taxpayer dollars spent in a responsible way. My amendment doesn't take all of the $88 billion for the programs found by PART, realizing there may be points in time when another program is not meeting its goals and needs more money. So that flexibility is allowed in this particular amendment. It doesn't target any specific program. Almost worse than being rated ineffective, we have programs out there that have made absolutely no effort at all to measure their results. I believe these are the worst offenders. In the following years, I hope Congress will look at those programs to create accountability.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

The effect of this amendment will simply be to cut domestic discretionary spending $18 billion. Understand the programs that have been identified in the PART program are results not proven. Here are programs affected: Border Patrol, Coast Guard search and rescue, high-intensity drug trafficking areas, LIHEAP, rural education, child abuse prevention, and treatment. If there is a problem in those programs, they ought to be fixed. We ought not to be cutting Border Patrol, Coast Guard search and rescue, high-intensity drug trafficking areas, LIHEAP, rural education, and the rest. I urge a "no" vote.

Reference: Allard Amendment; Bill S.Amdt.491 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-090 on Mar 22, 2007

Voted YES on $40B in reduced federal overall spending.

Vote to pass a bill that reduces federal spending by $40 billion over five years by decreasing the amount of funds spent on Medicaid, Medicare, agriculture, employee pensions, conservation, and student loans. The bill also provides a down-payment toward hurricane recovery and reconstruction costs.
Reference: Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act; Bill S. 1932 ; vote number 2005-363 on Dec 21, 2005

Voted YES on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would increase the amount of the budget that would be used to reduce the national debt by $75 billion over 5 year. The debt reduction would be offset by reducing the tax cut in the budget framework from $150 billion
Reference: Bill S Con Res 101 ; vote number 2000-55 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted YES on 1998 GOP budget.

Approval of the 1998 GOP Budget which would cut spending and taxes.
Status: CR Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: H. Con. Res. 84 as amended; Bill H. Con. Res. 84 ; vote number 1997-92 on May 23, 1997

Voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment.

Approval of the balanced-budget constitutional amendment.
Status: Joint Resolution Defeated Y)66; N)34
Reference: S. J. Res. 1; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 1997-24 on Mar 4, 1997

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Trent Lott on other issues:
MS Gubernatorial:
Haley Barbour
MS Senatorial:
Roger Wicker
Thad Cochran

Newly elected in 2008 & seated in 2009:
AK:Begich (D)
CO:Udall (D)
ID:Risch (R)
MN:Franken (D)
NC:Hagan (D)
NE:Johanns (R)
NH:Shaheen (D)
NM:Udall (D)
OR:Merkley (D)
VA:Warner (D)

Newly appointed in 2009;
special election in 2010:

DE:Kaufman (D)
CO:Bennet (D)
IL:Burris (D)
NY:Gillibrand (D)

Announced retirement as of 2010:
DE:Kaufman (D)
FL:Martinez (R)
KS:Brownback (R)
MO:Bond (R)
OH:Voinovich (R)


Up for 6-year term in 2010:
(13 Democrats; 15 Republicans)
AK:Murkowski (R)
AL:Shelby (R)
AR:Lincoln (D)
AZ:McCain (R)
CA:Boxer (D)
CT:Dodd (D)
GA:Isakson (R)
HI:Inouye (D)
IA:Grassley (R)
ID:Crapo (R)
IN:Bayh (D)
KY:Bunning (R)
LA:Vitter (R)
MD:Mikulski (D)
NC:Burr (R)
ND:Dorgan (D)
NH:Gregg (R)
NV:Reid (D)
NY:Schumer (D)
OK:Coburn (R)
OR:Wyden (D)
PA:Specter (R)
SC:DeMint (R)
SD:Thune (R)
UT:Bennett (R)
VT:Leahy (D)
WA:Murray (D)
WI:Feingold (D)
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2009