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Some In Congress Still Trying to Think Outside the Box

Nan Swift
May 1, 2012

In contrast to the Herd of Thirty, the GOP members who are asking House leadership to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank (Andrew writes about that sad tale here), there are some in Congress who are thinking outside the box and taking initiative when it comes to saving taxpayers’ money and reining in out of control spending.  We need more creative solutions like these:

  • NTU Taxpayers’ Friend Award Winner Rep.  Jeff Landry (R, LA-3) organized other freshmen members of Congress in giving back unused office funds to pay down the national debt.  Together, they returned almost $1.5 million.  Joining the Congressman were Reps. Jeff Duncan (R, SC-3), Tim Huelskamp (R, KS-1), Raul Labrador (R, ID-1), Mick Mulvaney (R, SC-5), Steve Southerland (R, FL 2), Joe Walsh (R, IL-8), and Kevin Yoder (R, KS-3).  While there’s no real incentive for a Congressional office to save money, it would be great if other offices followed suit and took such care with our money. On Fox News' "On the Record," Congressman Landry explains how this demonstrates the fact that Washington can live within its means:

  • Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Senator Rand Paul have each introduced bills in their respective chambers that do provide incentives for federal employees to identify wasted and unused funds.  Employees who do so “will get to keep as much as $10,000 of the budgetary savings if their suggestions are adopted.”

It’s notable that these fresh ideas are also coming from freshmen – but freshmen who are choosing not to recycle the same failed ideas ad infinitum.  

When compared with trillions of dollars of debt, these changes can seem like a drop in the bucket. But taken together, the savings do add up – and maybe more importantly the plans are a real culture change in Washington that both goes against the status quo flow the House and Senate leadership are pursuing and takes the idea of stewardship, when it comes to our tax dollars, seriously.


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