Senators to introduce bill to cut federal funds for party conventions

Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) will introduce legislation Monday ending federal funding to party conventions in presidential elections.

The legislation stops the Democratic or Republican parties from using Presidential Election Campaign Funds (PECF) for party conventions. The legislation would apply to conventions after Dec. 31, 2012, meaning it would not affect conventions scheduled to take place in late August and early September of this election cycle.

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Instead of conventions, the money would go to the Treasury to help reduce the deficit.

"Voluntarily returning convention funds would be a great act of leadership and statesmanship for both parties. Nevertheless, it’s time for Congress to act and end the practice of subsidizing annual convention parties with taxpayer dollars," Coburn said in a statement on Monday.

"With a languishing recovery and unsustainable debt, there is no justification for spending public funds on booze, balloons and confetti. I hope my colleagues will support this common sense legislation that says the ‘party is over’ when it comes to travel and meetings paid for by taxpayers," he added.

Through the PCEF, both parties receive $36.6 million — $18.3 million each for their nominating conventions.

Udall said American taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for nominating conventions that have increasingly become more partisan over the last few decades.

"Over the past several decades, political party nominating conventions have become elaborate celebrations devoted to partisanship," Udall said in a statement also on Monday. 

"The American taxpayer should not be responsible for footing the bill for these partisan events. I chose to cosponsor this bill because it is a common sense, bipartisan proposal that will save taxpayers millions of dollars at a time when we need to exhibit more fiscal discipline."

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