In the 2010 election, a number of Republican candidates vowed to reduce spending starting with themselves. It helped many of them to get elected to their first term in US House of Representatives.
Kansas freshman congressman Tim Huelskamp has just announced that he will be joining seven other Republican first termers in returning the unused portion of the Member Representational Allowances given to him. He was allocated $1.42 million for the operations of his office in Washington DC and three offices in the district of Kansas he represents. Heulskamp says he is returning about 10% or around $140,000 to the US Treasury.
Huelskamp explained the returned monies saying,
"I think we need to send a message, and not to the American people -- other than we're serious about cutting spending. But I think it communicates the message to the president and all of the executive branch that it's time to do more with less. We're going to lead by example. Often times, members in Congress are usually saying, 'Do as we say and not as we do' -- but in this case, we're going to walk the walk and talk the talk."
"Not only do we return that money to the Treasury, but we call on the speaker to actually use it to pay down our debt. Often times, when money was cut out of congressional budget, somebody else would spend it elsewhere. And this would take the money and dedicate it to debt reduction."
With all of the media focusing on the ongoing battles between the Republicans and Democrats, they failed to tell the American public that the US House of Representatives voted to take a five present cut in the 2011 budget and another five percent cut in their 2012 budget.
The ten percent being returned by Huelskamp is in addition to the voted budget cuts.
The other seven GOP freshman congressmen returning their unused allowances are Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Jeff Landry (R-LA), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Steve Southerland (R-FL), Joe Walsh (R-IL), and Kevin Yoder (R-KS). The overall average amount being returned is around $181,500 or about twelve percent of their annual budget.
Just think, if every member of Congress followed the example of these eight congressmen, it would save the government $78.9 million which could go towards the national deficit. If the Senators followed suit, that would be another $18.1 million for a grand total savings of $97 million.
Not only should these eight member of Congress be commended for living up to that part of their campaign promises, but also for demonstrating that they don’t need as much money to operate their offices as so many others of them claim they need.