Cassidy Criticizes Use Of Taxpayer Dollars On Vanity Portraits
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) — U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy from Baton Rouge wants to do away with taxpayer-funded vanity portraits.
According to ABC News, Cassidy said his EGO (Eliminating Government-Funded Oil-Paintings), which made its way into the omnibus spending bill passed by lawmakers last week, would do just that: prevent lawmakers and other officials from using tax dollars to create the portraits.
"This is a waste of money," Cassidy said in a statement about his bill.
The painting of commemorative oil portraits for presidents, vice presidents, cabinet members, members of Congress, and others has become commonplace.
Cassidy criticized the cost--some $40,000--of a portrait of Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson, as well as the $20,000 price tag for a portrait of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
“At a time of trillion-dollar deficits, these portraits are a ridiculous and unnecessary luxury. Americans have been complaining about this practice for decades, and it’s time we finally do something about it," Cassidy said. "As Americans tighten their budgets and cut excess, their government should do the same. Lisa Jackson can borrow my camera for free.”