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Public Statements

End Public Financing of Campaigns

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Congressman Billy Long voted to save taxpayers a total of $480 million dollars over five years by eliminating an unused government program and shutting down an obsolete government agency. Long voted in favor of H.R. 3463, Terminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns & the Electronic Assistance Commission (EAC), which would terminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and terminate the EAC.

"The American public are tired of paying millions of their hard-earned dollars for programs no one uses," said Long. "It is time to eliminate unused and obsolete programs and agencies and give the taxpayers their money back.

Congress had originally intended to sunset the EAC in 2005. Since then, the agency has more than doubled in size while its programs continue to decline. EAC's budget request for 2012 dedicated 51.7% of its budget to management and overhead costs, meaning the agency would spend $5,406,718 to manage programs totaling $3,486,601. Dissolving the agency would save taxpayers $33 million over five years.

Along with the EAC, H.R. 3463 also eliminated public financing of presidential campaigns. Despite spending approximately $1.5 billion since 1976, taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns has failed its goals of improving the public's trust in government, increasing the number of quality candidates, and increasing the competitiveness of elections. Candidates and nominees now usually opt out of the system, and so far in the 2012 primary campaign, no candidate has requested primary certification. According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate, the elimination of this program will save American taxpayers $447 million over the next five years and return millions to the public treasury for immediate deficit reduction.

"Cutting wasteful government spending is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity," said Long. "With our country over $15 trillion in debt, time is running out. We must cut wasteful spending before it is too late."

Congressman Long made eliminating wasteful government spending one of his top priorities in Congress.


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