(CNN) - Republican Sen. Rand Paul returned half a million dollars from his office budget to the Treasury Department on Thursday, offering a relatively small chunk of cash to help pay off the massive federal debt, which totals more than $15 trillion.
Unveiling a check made out to "The U.S. Taxpayer" at an event in Louisville, the Kentucky senator said he hopes other members of Congress would follow his cost-cutting measures.
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"If every senator did the same and every congressman did the same, it would be about $130 million. And we've got to start somewhere," Paul said.
The $500,000 contribution amounted to about 16% of the freshman senator's $3 million annual budget.
Also at the event, Paul, whose father Ron Paul is a Republican presidential candidate, didn't beat back questions about a possible vice presidential run. The libertarian-leaning senator became a high-profile political figure after riding the tea party wave to his Senate seat in 2010.
Asked by a reporter if he'd consider joining the Republican nominee as a running mate, Paul didn't rule out the idea.
"I am interested in trying to shape direction and make our country more fiscally conservative," he said. "We'll have to see where it goes, right now I'm still supporting that guy from Texas we'll see how well he does."
Rep. Paul will compete in South Carolina's primary on January 21, hoping to slow down front-runner Mitt Romney's momentum in the GOP horserace. The former Massachusetts governor already won the first two Republican presidential nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.
– CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this report.
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Andrew, what the heck does cutting FUTURE and CURRENT spending have to do with ANYTHING that occurred last decade??? Please GET A CLUE! It is about not going FURTHER into the debt abyss!!!
This is exactly why liberals and Democrats are incapable of running the governent and managing money.
Let's take his wish to return 1/2 million dollars to the Treasury in a positive light. Hopefully, he has not taken this money from his staff salaries, etc. and used his own money which was the general idea.
Millionaires in Congress still get many benefits which we pay for. Let's see if others follow suit.
So 130 million dollars out of a deficit of 1.3 trillion. That's less than 1 thousandth of 1 percent of the deficit. You may gripe about the senators budget but it would be better for them to use the money to find ways to work more effectively.
I also want to see Obama lay 16% of HIS budget at the alter to cut the debt!! Time to ante up Obama! Put your money where your mouth is!!
@ Woman in California:
Re: the Romney Mormon story – I was sorry but not surpised to see them shut down the posting with just 29 comments. I was and am in FULL and COMPLETE agreement with your on point observations that he needs to be questioned as vigorously, if not more, than then candidate Obama was about Rev. Wrights comments. I was also VERY amused with Fair is Fair sucking up to you! lol!
So he took the money...
probably invested it in gold bars...
now returning the interests......NICE TRY
This would have meant more if he had scheduled a meeting with all the unemployed Americans and handed his money to them.
Also thank you Andrew for telling it like it is. This administration is here cleaning up the mess that the last 8years of GOP caused. And I am speaking from my own ecomonic world when I say this, so Truth if you are going to bash me for this then you know nothing because you do not live in MY SHOES. And I am not a "leftist", just so you know,
Cheap theatrics. Instead of using all of his office budget to pursue his goals, he returns 16% thereby ensuring he will have less staff and resources than other members of the Senate. What a f ool.
I agree with you that they shut the previous comments down too fast. I think Fair made the point for CNN. This isn't about religion, it's about stopping all discussion OF religion because Romney is a Mormon. Having inundated us with the 2008 anti Obama/Wright video ad nauseum, we are now to make kissy-kissy and say to ourselves and each other that religious affiliations are not to be considered. It will be a factor - but to be discussed between ourselves behind closed doors. Anything else would tarnish the Mormon Romney. And by all means, GOPers can't offer Mitt a tarnished halo under the "guise" of Christianity. It's going to have to be all or nothing. I really think this summit called by Perkins is to get Evangelicals to accept the candidate Mitt - Mormon intolerance and all.
So THAT's where Boehner got the money for his S. American extended golfing ........ uh vacation.
Ah good old partisanship.
Some people can do no right...others can do no wrong.
Dominican mama 4 Obama, I was surprised by that to (funny). I will give him points for his civility though.
Good for you Rand I wish you and your father weren't so extreem. I, as a liberal, like a lot of what they want to do. I am so tired of the old argument by the parties. Democrates tax and spend and Republicans only work for the rich. Both parties are responsible for the mess we are in.
Warren Buffett challenged ALL of the congressman to give money to help pay down the deficit. He would MATCH them 1:1 except for McConnell of Kentucky who he would match 2:1. McConnell told him to basically "go pound sand"
I am glad at least 1 congressman stepped up to the plate!
Go Mr. Buffett–keep up the pressure on the millionaires running our congress!
Not a big Rand Paul fan, but I applaud this move.
I'm glad (Ayn) Rand didn't spend his full budget because almost everything he does is toxic and bad for the country. Frankly the less work this idiotic and dangerous moron does the better.
Lynda, CNN, GOP, and the pupett masters are doing a masterful job of keeping our attention away from this crucial and fundamental issue. After all, we are not talking about crucifying Romney for the utterances (however true) of his church leader like they did with President Obama. No, We are talking about this man's core religious beliefs which viewed until very recently Blacks as filthy animals. I am however very hopeful that President Obama's campaign will NOT let the issue go unchallenged and kept hush-hush to be discussed just amongst ourselves.
The fact that they're clearing the way for Romney to be the nominee shows just how shallow the talent pool is amongst those running.
The Memo has gone out to the base and Party leaders. Let's see how well Perkins fares up against their ingrained intolerance.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul is a Bozo. He is a Senator not a stand up comedian. He should go back to Washington and do his job, and use that money to do fund his office to do something of substance for the American people. What an idiot. I guess if all you plan to do is NOTHING but block the President, then you do not need funds to pay for research or pay to have his people go and talk to business people, or pay consultants to help him craft legislation. Typical Medical Doctor turned politician – smarter then the average in some things, but at the same time so narcissistically-arrogant that he is extraordinarily scary-stupid at everything else.
This was not Rand Paul's own money. Warren Buffet does not have to live up to any agreement until a sitting Republican congressman or senator sends a check for his or her OWN money to the Treasury. Also, whoever calculated "equal to over 250,000,000.00 in compined house and senate" has vastly understated the true budget for those congressional officials. There are 100 senators in congress. With each having a budget of $3 million, that comes to $300 million on its own. Congressman appear to have a budget of $1.5 million. With 435 of them, the Congressional office budget will exceed $650 million. That brings a conservative estimate of the annual office budget for congress to nearly $1 billion.