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Broun’s budgeting draws media interest, leadership frustration

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U.S. Rep. Paul Broun is on an incremental mission to throttle federal spending, offering more than three dozen appropriations amendments this year alone to trim government outlays.

But the Georgian’s feverish budget hacking, the subject of a new profile in Politico, has yet to infect his caucus: only three of those cost-cutting measures have been greenlit.

“This really exposes the true nature of this and every Congress essentially,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said of Broun’s solitary effort. “The rhetoric rarely matches the actions. bUt it’s not wasted time; it exposes members for what they are when it comes to the opportunities to cut spending, and there’s value in that.”

Broun’s incremental budget bridling launches anew with each spending bill:

Broun has a precise method to his waste-cutting agenda. He and his staff pore over appropriations bills, looking for items that could be axed. In the latest Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill, the amendment-happy Broun estimated he proposed about $4 billion in cuts.

Only one, a $181,500 cut to the Marine Mammal Commission, was approved.

Members of Broun’s party often speak out against his amendments. A core group of conservatives vote with him consistently, but others have said Broun’s efforts are at times duplicative, if not foolhardy.

That Broun participated in the piece–lamenting in an interview with the DC publication that fellow lawmakers were not “more serious about cutting spending and cutting government”–is an apparent indication to leadership that he has grown frustrated with the dynamic. It chases a similar item last year by another Hill rag.

But the story was not purely an exercise of whipping leadership. With candidate qualifying this week drawing a primary challenger for the Athens congressman, there are few stories more impactful than those in which the incumbent is seen as bucking the establishment.

- James Richardson

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