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Over Five Years, McCaskill Returns Millions From Office Budget, Calls on Colleagues to Follow Her Lead

Senator: Congress should set example, help pay down the deficit

March 14, 2012

WASHINGTON - Telling her colleagues that they should lead by example, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill-who, beginning her first year in office has returned more than ten percent of her budget every year-today is calling on Congress to pass legislation she backs that would require all unused Congressional office funding returned go towards deficit reduction.

As part of her broader effort to "clean up Congress" and strengthen accountability and transparency in government, McCaskill is honoring Sunshine Week by calling on her colleagues each day to commit to a specific step toward these goals.

S.81, introduced by Senator Johnny Iaskson (R-Ga.), will require that all funds returned from member office accounts go back to the treasury for deficit reduction.

"While we work to cut federal spending and bring down the deficit, I think members of Congress ought to lead by example," said McCaskill, a former prosecutor and Missouri State Auditor who has returned nearly $2 million in taxpayer money from her personal office budget. "The success of this country's leaders should be judged by how much taxpayer money they can save-not how much they can spend. That's why I'm calling on my colleagues to follow my lead and return money from their office budgets as well as to pass a bill to make sure that money is then used to reduce the deficit."

Last month, 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.

McCaskill's efforts this week round out years of work to reform government, including:

  • Expanding protections for whistleblowers
  • Establishing a moratorium on earmarks and introducing bipartisan legislation to permanently ban them from the legislative process
  • Fighting to open up to the public the consideration and markup of the National Defense Authorization bill
  • Spearheading the effort to establish an independent watchdog in the form of a Senate Inspector General, to root out waste of taxpayer dollars in the chamber's budget

McCaskill also recently introduced landmark legislation along with Senator Jim Webb (Va.) to overhaul the federal government's planning, management, and oversight of contracting during overseas contingency operations and eliminate the systemic problems that have led to the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars.

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