Today, South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan joined his in-state colleague Rep. Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land, along with several other members from across the country to announce they were returning significant portions of their office budgets with the intent that it be used to pay down the country's debt.
Duncan announced that his office would be returning at least $200,000 or 14.2% of his overall budget. That figure comes after Congressional offices had already taken a 5% budget cut during the previous year.
Duncan made his announcement at a press conference outside the United States Capitol.
"Most of the members joining me in returning taxpayer dollars have experience working for or running a small business," said Duncan. "We use budgets to help make ends meet in our homes and businesses, so it's not surprising for us to apply those same common sense principles in managing our offices."
"The Republican freshman class came to Washington with the promise of being different; one of the ways we're accomplishing that promise is to practice what we preach."
"By operating within a budget, we were able to cut spending," said Duncan.
"Our country's balance sheet shows what happens when we fail to live within our means. It's been over 1,000 days since the Democrat controlled Senate passed a budget, and during that time we've piled trillions of debt onto the backs of our children and grandchildren."
After the announcement, Duncan joined his colleagues in delivering a letter to Speaker John Boehner's office requesting that the unspent funds be "transferred to the U.S. Treasury to help immediately pay down the national debt. "
The letter went on to read "Together, (we) have accumulated more than $1.4 million in unused personal office funding; we believe this funding must be used immediately to address the fiscal emergency caused by our ever increasing national debt."
"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."