Legislation would protect taxpayers from being billed for oil paintings of government officials
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has today re-introduced legislation to curb excessive spending on oil paintings of government officials. Her legislation, the Responsible Use of Taxpayer Dollars for Portraits Act of 2015, would cap the amount of taxpayer dollars that could be spent on the portraits and limit the practice to those officials in the line of succession for the presidency.
“Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for a portrait that costs more than many Americans make in a year,” said Shaheen. “These portraits should be paid for in a way that protects taxpayers, just like we do in New Hampshire.”
According to a 2008 Washington Post study, these portraits can cost upwards of $50,000. The Responsible Use of Taxpayer Dollars for Portraits Act of 2015 would limit taxpayer support for portraits to $20,000 but clarifies that for portraits that cost more than $20,000, other funds may be used. Last year, Congress passed a Shaheen-led moratorium on spending for these types of portraits but only through the end of the 2015 fiscal year.