YouCut In Action: Roskam Floor Remarks on Ending the Taxpayer Financing of Elections

Jan 26, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Majority Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Peter Roskam managed the floor today during the Ways & Means Committee's portion of the debate over H.R. 359, the "To reduce Federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions" bill. Below are excerpted remarks from Rep. Roskam on the House floor:

"Another thing the President issued was an invitation where he said the best thing we can do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the tax code. Well, the law governing presidential election campaign funds, and the presidential primary matching payment account, is located in the Internal Revenue Code - which really, inherently, makes no sense. I think during the course of this debate, Mr. Chairman, we are going to lay out the argument as to why the President's first point can be greeted and agreed to that first goal that this is simply something we can do without.

...

"President Obama, when he as a candidate in 2008 for the United States presidency, declined to participate in this fund - both in his primary and in his general election. If President Obama has been able to rise above that, I think other Americans can rise above that."

 ...

 "It seemed to me that to make the argument that this [YouCut] doesn't do anything, as it relates to economic growth, is just an incredible overstatement... And here the Congressional Budget Office says without ambiguity - the Congressional Budget Office says - H.R. 359 would 'reduce direct spending by $617 million over the 2011 to 2021 period.'

This is an opportunity for us to take the admonition of the Minority Leader, to take the admonition of the President, to take the admonition of what the electorate told us in November - and that is: to concentrate on ways that we can trim this government, the burden on the taxpayer, that adds no value. There is not one member on this floor, Mr. Chairman, that has defended the results of this system. I urge passage of this bill."

FISCAL FACTS:

The Congressional Budget Office Estimated That Ending Taxpayer Financing of Elections Would Save Taxpayers $617 Million Over 10 Years. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 359 would reduce direct spending by $617 million over the 2011-2021 period. (Cost Estimate For H.R. 359, Congressional Budget Office, 1/24/2011)

Ending Taxpayer Financing of Elections Would Reduce Spending Without Reducing Government Revenues. The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that enacting the legislation would have no impact on federal income tax revenues. (Cost Estimate For H.R. 359, Congressional Budget Office, 1/24/2011)

 Watch here.