U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is returning $600,000 to the U.S. Treasury, money he said he saved through frugally operating his Senate office in the past year.
“It’s the only budget I control. … It’s not enough, but it’s a start,” Paul said at a news conference Wednesday near Fourth and Liberty streets in downtown Louisville.
The $600,000, which amounts to about 17 percent of Paul’s $3.5 million office budget, was in addition to about $500,000 he saved two years ago, his first year in the Senate, Paul said.
He said the savings were realized by “watching every purchase,” including keeping close tabs on expenditures for “computers, paper, ink cartridges. Everything we buy.”
He said he also keeps close watch on travel expenditures and noted that, although he frequently flies between Washington and Kentucky, his staff seldom does. He said he also doesn’t pay his staff excessive salaries.
“We are frugal from top to bottom,” Paul said, adding that he believes the savings show he has been true to his campaign pledge to cut federal spending. “It’s not an enormous savings,” he said, but the savings would add up if purse strings were so closely watched throughout government.