November 1, 2012

A Brief Summary of David Cicilline's Career in Public Spending: First District Congressman

Carroll Andrew Morse

Link to Parts 1 and 2: State Representative and Mayor of Providence.

First District Congressman: During the 2 years that David Cicilline has been Rhode Island's First District Congressman, Congress has not been able to agree on an overall budget, though they still approve appropriations bills for all of the various Federal departments.

Congressman Cicilline voted in favor of the highly-publicized 2011 debt-ceiling deal (officially called the Budget Control Act of 2011) which could include automatic across-the-board cuts (i.e, a “sequester”) at the start of 2013, unless an alternate plan meeting certain fiscal targets is approved. Based on Congressional Budget Office baseline projections with the sequester incorporated, the Federal Government is on a path to a spending cut if we go out two decimal places. The CBO reports $3.60T (T as in trillion) in actual Federal outlays for the year 2011. Estimated Federal outlays are projected to be $3.56T for 2012, $3.55T for 2013 and $3.59T for 2014. After that, spending growth is projected to increase year-by-year, reaching a total of $5.51T by 2022.

The Congressman has stated that he does not agree with all of the details of the debt-ceiling deal, but believed that taking on more debt to keep governing moving forward in its current form took priority over other concerns, i.e. borrow now, worry about how to pay for it later.

Voters are left to decide for themselves what a slight pause in spending growth, support for increased borrowing authority, and projections of major future spending growth all mean, in terms of Congressman Cicilline’s record, and whether he’s learned anything from his past experiences.