Legislation introduced today by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) would make it tougher for cabinet officials to redecorate their offices at public expense.
Sherrill says her “Reining In Irresponsible Decorating Expenses (RIIDE) Act” would reduce wasteful spending and increase transparency on renovation and decorating expenses in federal agencies.
Several members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet have resigned amidst controversies over spending to renovate their offices.
“New Jersey sends more money to Washington and gets less than almost any state in the country, and this bill will work to ensure our federal tax dollars are better spent,” said Sherrill. “This bill makes sure public officials are focused on improving the lives of New Jerseyans, and not frivolous distractions.”
Among the redecorating controversies that have caught national attention: U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson’s $31,000 dining room table, former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s $43,000 soundproof phone booth, and ex-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s $139,000 door.
“The RIIDE Act is a critical common-sense reform that would ensure public officials do not abuse the public trust,” said Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste. “Instead of measuring their taxpayer-funded drapes, Washington politicians should be focused on fiscal responsibility for themselves and the nation.”
Two members of the New Jersey delegation – Reps. Jefferson Van Drew (D-Dennis) and Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) – are original co-sponsors of Sherrill’s bill.