U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is helping lead a bipartisan effort to rein in costs associated with commemorative Senate resolutions-such as recent resolutions honoring electronic stamps or commending Yellow Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing Bonding-which can costs taxpayers $1,200 per page of the printed resolution.
"Resolutions can be an important way to honor or commemorate events, organizations and achievements, but the cost has become just another expense we can cut," McCaskill said. "This bill won't stop the printing of resolutions, but it will make each member of Congress accountable for how much taxpayer money they're spending on the measures. At a time when we need to watch every dollar, this is another way we can easily cut back without cutting vital services Missourians rely on."
The Pay for Printing Act, which McCaskill is cosponsoring along with Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), would require Members of Congress to pay for simple resolutions, that are celebratory or commemorative in nature, out of their own office budgets. During the current Congress, the Senate has passed or agreed to more than 350 simple resolutions, costing nearly $400,000 in printing costs.
The costs of printing these resolutions-ranging from National Safe Digging Month to the National Day of the American Cowboy-would now be required to come from the sponsor Members' Representative Allowance. The legislation allows for an exemption for resolutions with more than two-thirds of the Senate as cosponsors. By forcing Senators to shoulder the costs of the resolutions, McCaskill said less resolutions may be pursued, thereby expanding the savings the bill could provide to taxpayers.
Since arriving in the Senate, McCaskill has consistently fought for greater government accountability and fiscal responsibility, including legislation to end automatic congressional pay raises. As a result of McCaskill's fight to end automatic pay raises, members of Congress have not received a pay raise since 2010.
McCaskill has also championed legislation to ensure money Senators return from their budgets is used to reduce the deficit. McCaskill has returned more than ten percent of her Senate Budget every year she's been in office. Earlier this year, the news website Politico listed McCaskill as one of the most "frugal" senators for the amount of money she gave back to taxpayers in 2010, as well as her overall time in the Senate.