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                                                        Calendar No. 165
114th Congress     {								}            Report
 1st Session       {            SENATE              }            114-93
______________________________________________________________________
 
                     ELIMINATING GOVERNMENT-FUNDED

                            OIL-PAINTING ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 310

         TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR THE COSTS OF
 PAINTING PORTRAITS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT




                 July 27, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
JONI ERNST, Iowa                     GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
BEN SASSE, Nebraska

                    Keith B. Ashdown, Staff Director
                  Christopher R. Hixon, Chief Counsel
       Patrick J. Bailey, Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Deputy Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
            Jennifer L. Scheaffer, Professional Staff Member
              Gabrielle A. Batkin, Minority Staff Director
           John P. Kilvington, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Mary Beth Schultz, Minority Chief Counsel
         Abigail A. Shenkle, Minority Professional Staff Member
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                                                       Calendar No. 165
114th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     114-93

======================================================================




             ELIMINATING GOVERNMENT-FUNDED OIL-PAINTING ACT

                                _______
                                

                 July 27, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 310]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 310) to prohibit 
the use of Federal funds for the costs of painting portraits of 
officers and employees of the Federal Government having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............5

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    In response to lavish spending on portraits for government 
officials, S. 310, the Eliminating Government-funded Oil-
painting Act (or EGO Act), would prohibit the use of funds 
appropriated or otherwise made available to the federal 
government to pay for an official portrait of an officer or 
employee of the federal government, including the President, 
the Vice President, a Member of Congress, the head of an 
Executive agency, or the head of an office of the Legislative 
Branch.

              II. BACKGROUND AND THE NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    When the heads of federal agencies leave government 
service, the agencies routinely commission oil paintings to 
commemorate their time in office. Portraits can cost taxpayers 
tens of thousands of dollars. Media reports indicate that since 
2010, federal agencies have spent more than $400,000 on 
portraits that are displayed within agency buildings, often in 
secure locations which are not open to the public.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Boyle, Katherine, The government pays tens of thousands of 
dollars for portraits of high officials. Should it?, Washington Post, 
June 20, 2013, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/
wonkblog/wp/2013/06/20/the-government-pays-tens-of-thousands-of-
dollars-for-portraits-of-high-officials-should-it/.
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    According to reports, in recent years federal agencies have 
authorized lavish spending on portraits ranging in cost from 
$19,000 to $50,000 each. Examples include:
       $38,350 by the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) for a portrait of former Administrator Lisa Jackson;\2\
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    \2\Kerley, David, Taxpayer Dollars Spent on Official Government 
Portraits, ABC News, Mar. 4, 2013, available at http://abcnews.go.com/
blogs/politics/2013/03/taxpayer-dollars-spent-on-official-government-
portraits/.
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       $22,500 by the Department of Commerce for a 
portrait of John Bryson, who served as Secretary for only eight 
months;\3\
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    \3\Id.
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       $41,200 by the Department of Defense (DoD) for a 
portrait of former Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley;\4\
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    \4\McElhatton, Jim, Picture this: Cabinet portraits for big bucks, 
Washington Times, Nov. 11, 2012, available at http://
www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/11/picture-this-cabinet-
portraits-for-big-bucks/?page=all.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
       $22,500 by the United States Department of 
Agriculture for a portrait of Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack;\5\
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    \5\Id.
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       More than $40,000 by the United States 
Department of Justice for a portrait of former Attorney General 
John Ashcroft;\6\
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    \6\Id.
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       $30,500 by the USDA for a portrait of former 
Secretary Ed Schaefer;\7\
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    \7\Id.
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       $34,425 by the USDA for a portrait of former 
Secretary Mike Johanns;\8\
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    \8\Id.
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       $19,500 by the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) for a portrait of Steve Preston, who served 
as HUD Secretary for only seven months;\9\
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    \9\Id.
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       $46,790 by the DoD for a portrait of the former 
Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, his second official 
portrait bought by the American taxpayers;\10\
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    \10\Lee, Christopher, Official Portraits Draw Skeptical Gaze, 
Washington Post, Oct. 21, 2008, available at http://
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/20/
AR2008102003627.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
       $23,500 by the Department of Homeland Security 
for a portrait of former Commandant Adm. Thomas H. Collins;\11\
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    \11\Id.
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       $25,000 by the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration for a portrait of former Administrator Daniel S. 
Goldin;\12\
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    \12\Id.
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       $29,500 by the EPA for a portrait of the former 
Administrator Stephen L. Johnson;\13\
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    \13\Id.
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       $19,000 by the National Institute of Health for 
a portrait of former National Cancer Institute Director Andrew 
C. von Eschenbach.\14\
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    \14\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Reports indicate that official portraits for the President, 
the First Lady and certain Members of Congress (including 
committee chairs) are commissioned with private funding,\15\ 
though House practice has traditionally allowed appropriation 
of funds for portraits of the Speaker of the House.\16\ By 
prohibiting federal spending on official portraits, the bill 
would encourage Congress as well as federal agencies to adopt 
this same fiscally responsible approach of relying on private 
donations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Siddons, Andrew, A Casualty of the Spending Truce: Official 
Portraits, New York Times, Dec. 11, 2014, available at http://
www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2014/12/11/a-casualty-of-the-
spending-truce-official-portraits/.
    \16\Resnick, Brian, Why Doesn't Nancy Pelosi Have an Oil Painting? 
John Boehner Has One, National Journal, January 19, 2013, available at 
http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/why-doesn-t-nancy-pelosi-have-
an-oil-painting-john-boehner-has-one-20130109.
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    In response to concerns raised by sponsors of the 
legislation and reports about excessive spending on portraits, 
Congress enacted a ban on taxpayer support for official 
portraits as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing 
Appropriations Act, 2015.\17\ S. 310 ensures that the ban on 
this waste of taxpayer funds is made permanent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\P.L. 113-235, Sec. 736 (``None of the funds made available in 
this or any other Act may be used to pay for the painting of a portrait 
of an officer or employee of the Federal government, including the 
President, the Vice President, a member of Congress (including a 
Delegate or a Resident Commissioner to Congress), the head of an 
executive branch agency (as defined in section 133 of title 41, United 
States Code), or the head of an office of the legislative branch.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senator Bill Cassidy introduced S. 310 with Deb Fischer on 
January 29, 2015.\18\ The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Senators Steve 
Daines and Pat Roberts joined as cosponsors on February 3, 
2015. Chairman Ron Johnson joined as a cosponsor on June 24, 
2015.
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    \18\This bill was previously introduced in the 113th Congress by 
then-Representative Bill Cassidy as H.R. 1594.
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    The Committee considered S. 310 at a business meeting on 
June 24, 2015. The Committee ordered the bill reported 
favorably en bloc by voice vote. Members present for the vote 
were Senators Johnson, McCain, Lankford, Ayotte, Ernst, Sasse, 
Carper, Tester, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and Peters.

        IV. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE ACT, AS REPORTED

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the bill's short title, the 
``Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting Act'' or ``EGO 
Act''.

Section 2. Prohibition on use of funds for portraits

    Subsection (a) states that no funds appropriated or 
otherwise made available to the federal government may be used 
to pay for the painting of a portrait of an officer or employee 
of the federal government, including the President, the Vice 
President, a Member of Congress, the head of an Executive 
agency, or the head of an office of the Legislative Branch.
    Subsection (b) defines ``executive agency'' and ``Member of 
Congress''.

                   V. EVALUATION OF REGULATORY IMPACT

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this act and determined 
that the act will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the act contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                                      July 9, 2015.
Hon. Ron Johnson, Chairman,
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 310, the EGO Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

S. 310--EGO Act

    CBO estimates that implementing S. 310 would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget. The legislation would 
amend federal law to prohibit the use of federal funds to pay 
for official painted portraits of any officer or employee of 
the federal government, including the President, Vice 
President, Cabinet members, and Members of Congress. The 
legislation would not apply to the judicial branch.
    Appropriation laws prohibited the use of federal funds for 
such portraits in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. CBO is unaware of 
any comprehensive information on spending for official 
portraits before 2014, but we expect that most portraits about 
federal officials are for those in the line of succession to 
the presidency, members of the legislative branch, and military 
service personnel. The cost of such portraits appears to be 
about $25,000 per portrait, based on contract awards for a few 
federal portraits.
    CBO estimates that any savings from implementing S. 310 
would total less than $500,000 annually because we expect that 
fewer than 20 portraits would be purchased in most years. 
Enacting S. 310 could affect direct spending by some agencies 
(such as the Tennessee Valley Authority) because they are 
authorized to use receipts from the sale of goods, fees, and 
other collections to cover their operating costs. Therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Because most of those agencies 
can make adjustments to the amounts they collect as operating 
costs change, CBO estimates that any net changes in direct 
spending by those agencies would be negligible. Enacting the 
bill would not affect revenues.
    S. 310 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    Because S. 310 would not repeal or amend any provision of 
current law, it would make no changes in existing law within 
the meaning of clauses (a) and (b) of paragraph 12 of rule XXVI 
of the Standing Rules of the Senate.