House Republican freshmen have been in Washington for a year, but they haven’t become part of the established order. A group of these members gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to announce they would do their share to pay down the nation’s crippling $15.4 trillion debt. They believe fiscal responsibility begins with their own office budget.
When first-term Rep. Jeff Landry was about to give back 11 percent of his budget – $160,000 – that he did not spend, he uncovered the little-known procedural hiccup. This cash sits unused in an account for two years before being vaguely transferred to the public purse.
“Where does the money go?” the Louisiana Republican asked in an interview with The Washington Times. “I don’t want it to just go back to Treasury and some guy writes a check to Solyndra.”
Mr. Landry and seven other freshman colleagues sent a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner to ask him to direct their office savings immediately to the Treasury Department’s special “Gift to reduce the debt held by the public.” This green-eyeshade gang – Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Raul Labrador of Indiana, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Steve Southerland of Florida, Joe Walsh of Illinois and Kevin Yoder of Kansas – saved a total of $1.4 million in their first year.