Mr. JOHNSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address an issue that is of principal importance to our fiscal situation today in this Congress. I am referring to our own fiscal responsibility within the confines of our Congressional offices.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the number of members from Illinois that have returned more than one million dollars from their office accounts, called Member representational allowances, or MRA account only totals four members. They are Congressmen Costello, Jackson, Manzullo and I. I encourage my fellow colleagues from my home state, and those across the county, to accept my challenge to strive for this respectable marker, to ensure the general public that we in Congress can also ``Live within our means.'' We ask those who we serve, our constituents to make sacrifices to do so, and therefore we are expected to do the same in return.
I understand that returning this money will not offset our debts significantly and is a nominal amount when compared to our ever increasing colossal debt. But, the country and our citizenry demand a Congress that is in tune with their needs and values. Consequently, fiscal responsibility is tantamount to operating a home and a business, and we as leaders should make an effort, no matter how minuscule, in order to gain back the public's trust in this government.
I thank you Mr. Speaker for allowing me to speak on this issue. I praise my Colleagues from Illinois that are motivated to pursue fiscally responsible policies, and I encourage all Members of Congress as a whole, to follow our example.