A tax watchdog group says Utah's congressional delegation is unusual: most of its members cast votes and sponsor bills that overall would significantly cut government spending.

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation said Friday that Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett and Rep. Jim Hansen, all R-Utah, were among only 18 percent of the members in the past Congress whose voting would have reduced spending.They were also among about 40 percent of members whose bills (as opposed to votes) would have reduced spending.

The Democratic members from Utah at the time - Reps. Bill Orton and Karen Shepherd - didn't fare as well. Both their votes and bills would have increased spending, the group said.

Rep. Enid Waldholtz, R-Utah, was not included in the study because she had not yet been elected.

Specifics in the study include:

- Hatch sponsored or cosponsored bills that overall would have lowered spending by $20 billion. His votes would have lowered spending overall by $1.5 billion.

- Bennett pushed bills that would have lowered spending overall by $43.8 billion. His votes would have lowered it by $342 mil-lion.

- Hansen pushed bills to lower spending overall by $2.2 billion, and his votes would have lowered spending by $22.1 billion.

- Orton pushed bills that would have raised spending by $36.8 billion, and his votes would have increased spending by $21.5 billion.

- Shepherd pushed bills that would have increased spending by $331.6 billion overall, and her votes would have increased it by $59.3 billion.

The group said that the study suggests that the new GOP-controlled Congress still may not cut spending that much - because votes last year by the biggest supporter and opponent of federal spending differed by only 9 percent of federal spending.

"Although we expect the new Congress to take up a more aggressive agenda of cuts than its predecessor, the big question is whether those efforts will succeed," said Paul Hewitt, the group's executive director.

"Most major spending-cut proposals were rejected by margins large enough to suggest that they still won't pass," he said.