Thursday, January 8, 2015 – Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today announced that he has saved more than $200,000, or 16 percent, of his 2014 office budget. Griffith’s office has not spent the full office budget allocation in any of the 4 years he has served Virginia’s Ninth District in the House of Representatives.Each congressional office is allocated an annual office budget (officially called the Members’ Representational Allowance or ‘MRA’) with which it pays official operating expenses such as district office rent, office supplies, equipment, communications costs with constituents, postage, staff salaries, etc. These expenses must be in support of the member’s congressional duties and responsibilities. Although the amount Griffith has saved in 2014 is a milestone for his office, there were some anomalies that assisted the efforts to reduce spending.
Griffith said, “My staff and I always try to efficiently provide Ninth District residents with the best possible constituent services at the lowest possible cost. I am constantly seeking suggestions from my staff and from constituents as to additional changes we can make to continue saving taxpayer dollars. Ideas we have implemented have been as simple as printing bills and constituent correspondence on both sides of the page. We also evaluate every purchase, and have transitioned our annual survey from a printed and mailed version to a less expensive and primarily digital version. In 2014, I did not fill certain staff positions for a while in my Washington, D.C. office in an effort to assess whether they were necessary or could result in additional savings. We did ultimately determine these positions were necessary. While I likely will not be able to replicate this year’s return as expenses vary from year to year based on the needs of the Ninth District, we will continue to closely oversee the office budget just as the American people watch their household budgets.”
In addition to voting to cut the MRA by 5 percent the first week he was in office, Griffith has saved approximately $528,000.00 of his budget allocation since being sworn in to the House of Representatives in January 2011.
2011: Amount Allotted: $1,421,872.
Amount Spent: $1,302,691.90
Amount Saved: $119,180.10
2012 Amount Allotted: $1,330,871
Amount Spent: $1,210,038.32
Amount Saved: $120,832.68
2013 Amount Allotted: $1,222,549
Amount Spent: $1,145,612.21
Amount Saved: $76,936.79
2014 Amount Allotted: $1,243,774
Amount Spent: $1,023,655 (projected)
Amount Saved: $211,119 (projected)
It is important to note that the allocated office budget (MRA) has seen a net reduction of $187,098 from prior years during Griffith’s time in office.“One of my first votes was to support cutting the budget of each Member of Congress by 5 percent, saving taxpayers a total of $35 million,” Griffith said. “I came to Congress to make significant changes in the way Washington handles taxpayer dollars. My office budget is a start. We may be unable to return $200,000 every year, but will continue watching our purse strings and the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.”