EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 21, 2012

N.H. delegation is thrifty; Bay State? Not so much

Frank Guinta is one of the thriftiest members of Congress.

A study released last week by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation ranked the first-term Congressman from New Hampshire 432nd out of 438 in the entire House for "net" spending, that is the amount his bills would cut spending versus increasing it.

His bills cut spending more than $374 million. Guinta regularly bemoans federal spending.

"Thoughtful Americans agree that spending has spiraled out of control in recent years. They want Congress to slam on the fiscal brakes and stop the red ink from flowing," Guinta wrote in his "Frankly Speaking" memo to constituents earlier this year.

Congressman Charlie Bass, the other member of the all-Republican New Hampshire House delegation, ranked 228th, with cuts amounting to $31.7 million — one-tenth the amount from Guinta.

Bass has criticized his colleagues for failing to come together to solve the government's fiscal trouble.

"The American people have heard the debate on both sides, and they are crying for solutions, not squabbling, not posturing, nor policy brinkmanship," Bass said this spring. "We all have principles. Compromise is not a capitulation of principle."

The New Hampshire delegation was among the thriftiest in the nation. Together, Guinta and Bass had the state ranked 53 out of 56 states and territories that send representatives to Congress.

The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts House delegation ranked sixth in terms of spending the most.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, with spending of $16.8 million, ranked 163rd in the House. Congressman John Tierney, with $31.1 million in spending, was 135th.

The District of Columbia ranked first among House delegations for spending. Kansas was last, or first in savings.

Congressman John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan, led the House with $1.45 billion for increased spending. Congressman Trent Franks, Republican of Arizona, was best for savings at $428.7 million.

Other House notables included New Hampshire presidential primary contestants Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, ranked 265, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at 384. Both are Republicans.

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