Cole Moves to End Taxpayer Funding of Presidential Conventions

Jun 7, 2012 Issues: Budget, Spending & Taxes

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) today introduced H.R. 5912, legislation to terminate taxpayer financing of party conventions.  Since 1976, over $220 million of taxpayer funds have been spent on presidential nominating conventions for such expenses as make-up artists, political consulting fees, gift bags, banners and more. 

In January 2011, the House passed the Cole-authored H.R. 359 to end all public funding for presidential campaigns, including conventions.  Rep. Cole first introduced similar legislation, H.R. 2992, in 2009.

"There is no justification for spending taxpayer money on political conventions while we face a $16 trillion debt and 8 percent unemployment.  It's outrageous for the federal government to waste millions on multi-day, lavish conventions that exist solely to promote presidential candidates while the military and other vital government functions are being cut. 

"The political parties are fully capable of funding their conventions through voluntary contributions without squandering taxpayer dollars that would be better spent saving legitimate government programs.  This is a frivolous, outdated expenditure that we can't afford.

"I thank Sen. Coburn for joining the effort in the Senate.  The House first passed my bill to end this welfare program for politicians over a year ago, but the Senate has failed to act.  With Sen. Coburn's support, I am hopeful this long overdue reform will finally become law."