WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after successfully passing three legislative provisions on the House floor that were included as part of H.R. 5325, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017:
“The best way to lead is by example. It’s long past time that Congress set the example by cutting wasteful federal spending within its own budget. With our national debt skyrocketing in excess of $19 trillion, how can we possibly ask hard-working Americans to tighten their belts without first requiring ourselves to do the same thing? The power of the purse comes with it the very critical responsibility of ensuring every dollar of taxpayer money is spent appropriately. While we still have a long way to go, I’m pleased to see the House take steps to eliminate waste and abuse within a bloated federal government by passing three of my legislative initiatives.”
Rep. Gosar speaking from the House floor in support of his amendment to prohibit sending hard copies of a costly Congressional phone directory to House Member offices.
The full text of Congressman Gosar’s two amendments to H.R. 5325 that passed on the House floor can be found by clicking the links below:
Prohibits sending hard copies of a costly phone directory to House Member offices
For the last several years, the Washington D.C. offices of all 435 House members received 20 hard copies of the U.S. House of Representatives Telephone Directory, despite not requesting a single copy. While the Clerk of the House does get a discounted rate from the Government Publishing Office on printing costs, these publications sell online for $52 each and comprise 378 pages. This year 14,080 copies of this wasteful directory were printed and sent to House Postal Operations for delivery. All of the information in the directory is available online at http://directory.clerk.house.gov/.
Prohibits funds for excessive budget documents sent to House Member offices
This year Congressman Gosar’s Washington D.C. office received a package containing the President’s Budget, Analytical Perspectives of the Budget and the Appendix of the Budget. Each individual copy sells online for $38, $56 and $79 respectively. These documents comprise 170 pages, 409 pages and 1,413 pages respectively. All three of these publications are available on an app for mobile phones for free. Furthermore, all three are available in their entirety online at www.whitehouse.gov/omb/ where they are more easily searchable. All 435 House member offices receive a printed copy of the budget. Most member offices recycle, never open or even throw these publications in the trash. Furthermore, this massive document is not even a serious proposal and has been routinely rejected with strong bipartisan support. The Senate defeated President Obama’s budget by a vote of 97-0 for fiscal year 2011, 99-0 in fiscal year 2012, and 98-1 last year.
The House Appropriations Committee included the following Gosar legislative provision in the base version of the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill:
Prohibits funds for full-size photographic murals of building facades to conceal scaffolding
Section 1202 of the base bill contains Congressman Gosar’s language that prevents the printing of life-size photographs of building facades on scrims that conceal scaffolding erected to repair public buildings in the United States Capitol Complex. In the recent restoration of the Supreme Court, a wasteful full-size photograph was printed on a scrim in order to conceal scaffolding during the renovation process. Hardworking taxpayers paid $139,000 total for the scrim, with $37,000 alone going towards the printing of the full-size photographic image. Shamefully, the Architect of the Capitol justified this lavish expenditure by asserting that this practice is “used extensively in Europe.” This Gosar provision has been signed into law the last two years and has already saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The only reason there is not a wasteful scrim currently concealing the scaffolding being used for renovations of the U.S. Capitol is because of this Gosar provision.