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Senate Says So Long to Taxpayer Funded Conventions for Political Elite

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Mark Udall (D-CO) today applauded the Senate's unanimous passage of H.R. 2019, a bill that eliminates taxpayer financed political party conventions. The bill redirects the savings to provide for a 10-year pediatric research program to be administered by the National Institutes of Health.

"The party is over for Washington politicians," Dr. Coburn said. "Hardworking taxpayers will no longer have to fund summertime party junkets for the political class. I want to thank Leaders Reid and McConnell for their support of this measure and for agreeing to pay for new spending for pediatric medical research by eliminating spending for political conventions. Reid's decision, in particular, sets an important precedent -- and reverses past resistance -- by paying for new spending by reducing spending elsewhere. Historically, Washington has considered that principle to be unusual. But in the real world it's called common sense and living within your means. We need more of that in Washington. I look forward to the President quickly signing this bill into law so this egregious practice can end once and for all."

"I have long fought to end public subsidies for national political party conventions, which have become nothing more than elaborate parties. I am proud Congress finally heeded my call and passed this bipartisan proposal,"Udall said. "This common-sense idea will help save millions of dollars -- and the president should sign it into law without delay."

Coburn and Udall have worked together to prohibit the use of Presidential Election Campaign Funds (PECF) for political party nominating conventions, including introducing legislation last year and in the previous session of Congress.

Dr. Coburn previously listed taxpayer-funded conventions as the number one most wasteful item in his 2011 Wastebook.

In June of 2012, Dr. Coburn's amendment to S. 3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, passed the Senate 95-4. However, the measure was never signed into law.

In early 2013, Dr. Coburn introduced a bill to eliminate the use of public funds for political party conventions, cosponsored by Sen. Udall.

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