GOP Touts ‘Overwhelming’ Response to YouCut Program

Posted May 17, 2010 at 12:49pm

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday that because of the “unprecedented public response” to the new GOP YouCut initiative, visitors to the website will have an extra 24 hours to vote on which government program will be targeted for elimination.

The site, launched by Cantor and the House Republican Economic Recovery Working Group last week, gives visitors a choice of five “wasteful” government programs to remove from the federal budget.

The winning project was originally scheduled for release Monday.

“Due to the overwhelming amount of support and interest in YouCut, we have decided to keep the voting open for another 24 hours so that more Americans can make their voices heard,” Cantor said in a statement.

Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for Cantor, said more than 260,000 votes have been cast since the website was unveiled.

He added that only a fraction of the votes were from inside the Beltway.

“One of the amazing metrics of the YouCut voting demographic is that 99 percent has come from outside the Beltway,” Dayspring wrote in an e-mail. Cantor attributed part of the nationwide participation to the work of the House Republican Economic Recovery Working Group.

“Votes are pouring in from places like Lubbock, Texas; Winchester, Virginia and Topeka, Kansas” thanks to efforts of Reps. Randy Neugebauer (Texas), Bob Goodlatte (Va.) and Lynn Jenkins (Kan.), and “the entire House Republican Economic Recovery Working Group who have spread the word back home,” Cantor said. “More than anything, however, YouCut has spread from friend to friend and neighbor to neighbor, as people share this unique opportunity to get directly involved in their government.”

Cantor said Republicans would call for an up-or-down vote on the House floor to remove the program that wins the online poll on Thursday.

Either Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) caucus “will listen and allow their constituents to be heard in their own body of government, or they won’t,” Cantor said. “We are hopeful that many of them will.”

Democrats dismissed the project, noting the programs nominated for cuts would trim a tiny fraction of the federal budget.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) launched a counter-site last week called GOPSpent to highlight “irresponsible” programs Republicans spent tax dollars on during the GOP’s tenure in the majority.