November 18, 2015

Democrats Oppose EGO Act – Would Have Banned Taxpayer-Funded Oil Paintings of Government Officials

I have no clue why the Democratic Leader objects… It is an incredible insensitivity to working families… They look at people in Washington like a new version of The Hunger Games. It is the capitol of this country and all the riches of this country are brought to the capitol to paint paintings of government officials to be hidden away—while they struggle to make their mortgage and their car note and to make sure that their child is properly fed.”

WASHINGTON –  Today, U.S. Senate Democrats objected to U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy’s (R-LA) legislation to ban taxpayer dollars from being wastefully spent on official portraits of the president, vice president, Cabinet members and Congress, which can cost taxpayers upwards of $40,000 per painting—the same as the average salary for workers in Louisiana.

Dr. Cassidy introduced the Eliminating Government-Funded Oil-Painting Act—or the EGO Act—in the House of Representatives in 2013, and it was approved in the appropriation spending bills for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Today, he looked to pass it in the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent but Democrat Leader Harry Reid objected. 

Watch Dr. Cassidy’s remarks here and read experts below: 


DR. BILL CASSIDY: “The Eliminating Government-Funded Oil Painting Act, or the EGO Act, is common sense legislation that bans the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars on oil paintings of presidents, vice presidents, cabinet secretaries or members of Congress. 

“…These paintings can cost as much as $40,000 and are often placed in a back hall of a government bureaucracy never to be seen by the public. And I will note that $40,000 is the same as the average annual wage of a worker in Louisiana. Think about it. That worker would work a whole year, and as much as she would earn, that is what the federal government will spend on a cabinet secretary who serves for six months and then it is put in the back of the building never to be seen. 

Now, with trillions in debt, there is more to do and our obligation to the taxpayer to spend their money wisely, but this is a start. I offer my strong support of the EGO Act and urge its passage. 

“I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of [the EGO Act] Calendar Number 165, S. 310. I further ask that the bill be read a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.”


 CASSIDY: “I have no clue why the esteemed Democratic Leader objects. All I can say is it is an incredible insensitivity to working families. There is a family out there right now struggling, not sure if they can pay their rent or their mortgage. They’re going to lose their car. Their children will go to school in old clothes and maybe hungry because the amount of money they earn per year is not enough.

“And they look at people in Washington like a new version of The Hunger Games. It is the capitol of this country and all the riches of this country are brought to the capitol to paint paintings of government officials to be hidden away.

“While they struggle to make their mortgage and their car note and to make sure that their child is properly fed. That people in government would be insensitive to those families shows you the problem of government. That people in Washington would be insufficiently aware that the average family is making $40,000 a year, the same as what one of these paintings can cost and not care, is an indictment of those who do not care.

“I regret that there is objection to this, but we will bring it up later, and I thank you for your time.”