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United States Capitol dome at midday, east side.  July 28, 2011.  Photo by Mark Noel (
Some House Democrats are suggesting that Congress take on its own share of the sacrifice, sending a raft of proposals to the Super Congress for legislative cuts.
In a letter sent Wednesday to co-chairmen of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, House Administration Committee members Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Robert Brady (D-Pa.) and Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) outlined their suggestions to help reduce the deficit.

“At present, annual outlays for the Legislative branch total roughly $5 billion,” according to the letter addressed to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). “Misguided cuts can increase spending, but careful scrutiny of the programs under our jurisdiction have revealed potential opportunities for additional savings."[...]

“Legislative branch agencies can adopt simple and effective energy policies, such as adjusting corridor lighting levels and ambient temperatures overnight,” according to a committee statement issued Thursday.

Hah! Reigniting the lightbulb wars in the literal halls of Congress (seriously, this is what Republicans fight over), by trying to find energy savings. Their other proposals are to modernize correspondence with constituents to use cheaper telecommunications technology, increase fees paid to the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress and consolidating Executive agency printing at the Government Printing Office.

That seems to be the most work exerted so far by Congress members to come up with specific proposals. As the deadline for a committee recommendation draws nearer, expectations for the committee seem to be being officially lowered. At least, that seems to be what House Speaker John Boehner was doing today. After all the sturm und drang Republicans created by forcing this committee's existence, they've certainly become lackadaisical about it. At least Democrats are coming up with their share of ideas, and their share of cuts.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 12:00:42 PM PDT

  •  How 'bout they pay rent on their desks. (6+ / 0-)

    And pay for their free coffee and other beverages.

    And put pay toilets in the executive bathrooms.

    "The tree of Capitalism must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of hippies."

    by Pluto on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 12:15:30 PM PDT

  •  How about a pay? (6+ / 0-)

    Even better, a cut in their retirement benefits. That's what they want to do to the public.

    I was Rambo in the disco/ I was shootin' to the beat/ When they burned me in effigy My vacation was complete. Neil Young

    by Mike S on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 12:26:17 PM PDT

    •  Unspent campaign funds go to pay national debt (0+ / 0-)

      if they really were great Americans. Let's challenge Paul Ryan and Herman Cain to take the lead on that one!

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 06:06:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike S

      when Obama says 'we' all must sacrifice, I want someone to ask him if that means Congress will forgo some of their perks too.
      They work in very expensive offices, on our dime.
      We pay for their health care, pensions and all kinds of stuff we don't know about, but they want to have us do all the sacrificing.
      I would love to see a chart of how much each Congress person was worth before taking office, and how much they now have. I would think with them knowing which companies would be getting the contracts and stuff, they would know which stocks to buy.
      We haven't had a working democracy for some time. Not with Lobbyists being able to buy votes and such.

      Easter has been canceled. They found the Body

      by snoopydawg on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 06:19:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about all those junkets? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, Gordon20024, Marie, vzfk3s

    In such times, does it make any sense for congress to spend taxpayer dollars on their junkets around the world?

    And why do they need to fly on the military's luxury jets?
    For that matter, why does our military need luxury jets?

    why do they need a doctor onboard on their junkets?

    Why do they need boxes of booze onboard?

    And why do they stay at 5 star hotels at our expense?

    Rhetoric has to be matched with actions. "Only actions don't lie."

    by allenjo on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 12:40:08 PM PDT

  •  How about some green energy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, msmacgyver

    harvesting. There must be a good deal in all that hot air they produce. Wind power? Thermal extraction?

    •  How about not paying them (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard, antirove, Marie

      when they don't show up for work (e.g. Michele Bachmann)?

      My former employer (I'm retired now) gave us time off to run for political office; an unpaid leave.

      "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." Jack Layton 1950 - 2011

      by marigold on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 01:24:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  slash an aircraft carrier, we have 11 already (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gordon20024, antirove, Marie, vzfk3s

    seriously, you have to wonder who these millionaires are really working for.

    •  Yep, and We are building another. (0+ / 0-)

      CV-78 (USS  Gerald Ford) will cost at a min. 2 BILLION, By the time Newport News gets done it will cost 3.9 Billion.

      Then a another Billion to put planes on it.

      Food for the poor. F@#k Them.

  •  they should stop flying home every week (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antirove, vzfk3s

    All the old timers say Congress was collegial when they all lived in DC. They socialized after work. And it turned a 5 day work week into a 3 day work week.

  •  How many republicans does it take (0+ / 0-)

    to change a light bulb?

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 06:00:19 PM PDT

  •  I enjoy this (0+ / 0-)

    Energy conservation is such anathema to privileged Republicans. The idea that they might be on the hook for something as pedestrian as turning out the lights to be frugal must be making their little heads explode.

    But it's so reasonable that they can't be snotty about it; they'll have to ignore it, or come up with a pretense. But they must be fuming.

  •  Sadder still, is that every government (0+ / 0-)

    agency already has put money savings and energy savings activities in place.  And employees are actively encouraged to find other ways to suggest cutting spending and being more efficient.

    Why this even needs to be suggested and voted on is absurd.  Are all of you running your heating and air conditioning 24/7?  Or are you forced to cut back because of reduced finances?  Are their budgets and payouts made public so we can audit what they are spending this public money on?  Their staff's salaries, supplies, etc.?

  •  yes! yes! yes! (0+ / 0-)

    make the effers eat crow!

    what is this "automatic pay raise" BS?

  •  The Republican Reality Show (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans couldn't care less about events that take place after the specific reality show premise they've created starts to get low ratings.

    Any speeches about the "Ground Zero Mosque" these days?

    It's like it never happened.

    Down the memory hole.

    Remember Donald Trump for president?

    Obama's birth certificate "Scandal"?

    They don't.

    Once the show is off the air, it's as if it never existed all.

    How else to explain how republicans, after the last ten years, can still be republicans?  It's impossible without  memory the length of a goldfish.

  •  Let's take a look at their (0+ / 0-)

    taxpayer funded health care insurance coverage.  Yes, they receive the same basic benefits as all government employees, with several added perks. Perhaps if congresscritters did not have access to an on-site medical clinic which costs, I believe $40/year, there would be a little more empathy for those who have to travel to get to a doctor or medical facility.  

    How about getting back to basics with taxpayer funding in the amount of approximately $700 per person per month.  

    May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 06:31:16 PM PDT

  •  Sign Up for 5X (0+ / 0-)

    These people need to sign up for my 5X plan, which would limit military spending to the combined expenditures of the next five largest military budgets in the world. By my calculations, that would limit the military budget to about $250 billion a year, which would save about a half-trillion a year.

    And, getting the economy rolling again would help. By my calculations there are 1.4 million people out of work because of our screwed up trade policies. Even at minimum wage, those people would be paying billions of dollars a year in payroll taxes (not to mention income taxes and excise taxes on gasoline), so poor economic policy (especially trade policy) is costing the government a huge pile of money.

    By the way, a half trillion dollars is $500,000,000,000. Do you think they could balance the budget if they had that to play with?

  •  Pretty fucked up that there are only rich (0+ / 0-)

    people in Congress. Why can't a penniless homeless person become President? We need publicly financed elections with zero outside money allowed. News outlets will be forced to run the ads for free, equal time and truth in advertizing provisions reinstalled. If the media can be forced to announce federal emergency conditions, then can be forced to do these things as well.

    Don't confuse political systems with financial systems. Uncontrolled capitalism is what we have now. Don't tell me that any fed regulations really do anything to inconvenience any company. There is nothing wrong with making a profit. In fact, that is the whole reason for going into business. However, when the selling price is many times higher than the cost of making the junk and the principals are living in a world where every thing is an order of magnitude beyond anything the masses have ever seen, is not being human.

    Being human does not depend on DNA. Being human has a much larger definition than just how chemicals are put together. It, in my mind has to do with how the different species interact with us. I think that we have partnered with several species of people. As far as I am concerned my cat, Jane is a person and so is my buddies dog, Chip. Another friend has a couple of persons living with her, both ferrets. Ya, I know, I'm crazy....

    Sorry for letting the topic creep away. Keep it real.

    Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

    by Agent420 on Fri Oct 14, 2011 at 11:46:16 AM PDT

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