WASHINGTON—US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the Eliminating Government-Funded Oil-Painting (EGO) Act of 2017 in the US Senate.
“When America is trillions of dollars in debt, we should take every reasonable measure to reduce the burden passed on to our children and grandchildren,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Tax dollars should go to building roads and improving schools—not oil paintings that very few people ever see or care about. Congress has passed the EGO Act before, let’s pass it again.”
“Banning government officials from spending taxpayer dollars on expensive self-portraits is a no-brainer, and a great step toward draining the Washington swamp,” Sen. Johnson said. “I look forward to continuing to use the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to eliminate government waste wherever possible.”
“I’d encourage anyone who’s commissioned a portrait using Missourians’ hard-earned tax dollars to come back to my state with me and ask folks how they feel about it—they’ll get an earful,” McCaskill said. “This bill just says you should pay for your own portraits and not ask taxpayers to foot the bill. I can’t imagine anyone who’d disagree with that.”
“The EGO Act would save taxpayer dollars by cutting frivolous spending on lavish portraits of government officials. Congress has a responsibility to conduct proper oversight and root out all forms of government waste. It’s pretty simple: if you want a portrait, pay for it yourself,” said Fischer.
First introduced in the House of Representatives in April 2013, the EGO Act bans taxpayer funds from being used for oil paintings for the President, Vice President, Cabinet members and Members of Congress. These portraits can often cost $20,000-$40,000. In the 114th Congress, the EGO Act passed the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) by voice vote.
To read the full legislation, click here.