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House Republicans Launch Anti-Government Spending Program

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FILE: House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., on Capitol Hill. (AP)

Fed up with government spending?

Despite being out of power, House Republicans are offering Americans a chance to vote online on what they think should be slashed from the federal budget in a new anti-government spending program called YouCut.

Each week, voters get to choose among five items that House Republicans will then offer on the floor for an up-or-down vote. Republicans will announce the first winning item on Monday.

"What we're saying here is we're going to listen," said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., the No. 2 Republican in the House, who launched the program. "Vote on your priority, and we'll take it to an up-or-down vote on the floor."

"Secondly, it is about trying the change the culture," he told Fox News. "And right now, Speaker Pelosi and the majority in the House have no interest in reducing spending. And we all know that the American people who…are trying to make ends meet at the end of the month and they see Washington on a rampant spending spree. That's what we're trying to change and that's what YouCut's about."

Among the five items this week that Republicans say would save taxpayers millions if cut are the presidential election fund ($260 million in savings over five years), taxpayer subsidized union activities ($600 million in savings over five years), and new non-reformed welfare programs ($2.5 billion in savings a year).

House Democrats fired back in a blast e-mail with their own voting contest dubbed "GOPSpent," in which Americans can vote against Republican initiatives that Democrats say were irresponsible and favored special interests over the middle class.

"Republicans spent a decade failing to defend the middle class, leaving behind a failed economy and a $4.5 trillion deficit," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in the e-mail. "As part of their most recent effort to distract from their sorry record, Republicans launched "YouCut," which would cut less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the federal budget."

The e-mail include links to "trillion dollar tax cuts to millionaires," "big tax breaks for big oil companies," "bridge to nowhere earmarks" that readers can click to vote against.