Leading an effort of conservative freshmen members of Congress this morning, Congressman Jeff Landry (R, LA-03) requested that Speaker John Boehner direct $1.435 million of unused office funds to immediately pay down the national debt.
"My colleagues and I voted against the disastrous Washington debt deal and the failure Super Committee. And my colleagues, members of the freshman class, have been stewards of the taxpayers' money when it comes to office spending; so much so, that today we are returning nearly $1.5 million to protect the taxpayers," said Landry. "But instead of just doing what Washington politicians would do -- issue a press release, pat themselves on the back, and tell their constituents how great they are -- today, we are calling on the Speaker to immediately use these funds to pay down our national debt."
Landry, whose office is returning $160,000 or over 11% of his office budget, cited the need for Washington politicians to stand with the American people not above them. "While American families and small businesses have been struggling -- cutting family budgets and making tough business decisions -- the Washington politicians in Congress have continued to feed their addiction to spending. Enough is enough; Congress is not above the American people. We serve in the people's seats, and the people deserve better than Washington politicians saddling them with mountains of debt," said Landry.
In a letter to Speaker Boehner, Landry and seven of his conservative colleagues said: "As freshmen, we came to Congress promising to reduce red tape and eliminate Washington accounting gimmicks -- ideals we know you share. We believe immediately transferring our unused MRA funding to debt relief demonstrates that we continue to focus on these principles and represents a stark contrast to President Obama's continued efforts to increase federal spending."
Congressman Raúl Labrador (R, ID-01) is hopeful Landry's leading efforts will convince other Members of Congress to follow suit. "With a mounting national debt exceeding $15.3 trillion and a troubled financial outlook ahead, we must remain committed to not only saying something, but also doing something. Because we are honored to serve our constituents in the U.S. Congress, we are called to lead by example. It is my hope that many more of my colleagues will join us in our efforts to pay down our national debt and restore the American Dream for generations to come."