Washington, DC— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed his legislation, the Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting (EGO) Act (S. 188), bringing the legislation one step closer to final passage.
“The national debt is over $20 trillion,” said Dr. Cassidy. “There’s no excuse for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on paintings of government officials.”
The Senate passed the EGO Act in September, and must pass it again due to a technical change made in the House. The legislation bans taxpayer funds from being used to pay for oil paintings for the president, vice president, cabinet members, and members of Congress. These portraits can cost around $50,000. Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) joined Cassidy in introducing the legislation.
Cassidy first introduced the EGO Act in April 2013 as a member of the House. ABC News reported then that the federal government had spent almost $400,000 on portraits of government officials in just the previous two years.
Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the legislation in the House.
“I am pleased that the House passed this bipartisan bill to save taxpayer dollars,” said Cartwright. “Every dollar the government spends on vanity projects for federal officials is a dollar that is not spent improving the lives of hardworking Americans. It’s just wrong to spend taxpayer dollars on portraits the public will never see.”