Policy of Returning Office Budget Part of Feingold’s Commitment to Fiscal Responsibility
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold announced today that he recently returned $269,209.41 allocated to him as part of his office budget to the U.S. Treasury as part of his commitment to fiscal responsibility and curbing the deficit. Returning a portion of his office budget is a longstanding practice for Feingold, who over the course of his career has returned more than $3.2 million in office funding to the Treasury. Feingold is trying to expand this general practice Senate-wide in an effort that could save taxpayers $54 million. A provision in Feingold’s Control Spending Now Act, legislation to cut the deficit by more than one half trillion dollars over ten years, would cut five percent from this year’s allocation for House and Senate offices.
“We are staring down a record deficit that our children and grandchildren will pay for if we don’t take action,” Feingold said. “Returning this funding won’t get us out of the red but it will show the American people that some of us in Congress understand how important it is to cut the deficit.”
Trimming office budgets is one of several ways Feingold is proposing Congress tighten its belt to help cut the deficit. Feingold is also continuing his push to end automatic annual pay raises for members of Congress, which could save $80 million over ten years. Feingold does not accept pay raises during his term and, since 1993, Feingold has returned more than $70,000 in pay to the Treasury.
Feingold is also working to end wasteful spending by requiring campaign finance reports to be filed electronically. Despite presidential and House candidates having to file their reports electronically, the Senate has yet to enact Feingold’s legislation to do so. Instead, the Senate hires outside contractors to re-enter data that campaigns have readily available in electronic form. Ending this waste could save $2.5 million over ten years.
More on Senator Feingold’s legislation to cut the deficit by more than one half trillion dollars is available at http://feingold.senate.gov/deficit/index.html.