Washington, D.C. – Monday, Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to President Obama. The letter cites some concerns Rep. Schweikert has over the use of taxpayer dollars spent to purchase copies of President Obama’s books:
In a letter to the White House, Rep. Schweikert calls on President Obama and his Administration to cease purchasing copies of his books using taxpayer money, and asks for him to remit any royalty payments he may have received to the Treasury Department.
“At a time of record deficits and a heightened need to cut government spending, it is clear that spending taxpayer money in this manner is inappropriate.”
A copy of the letter is below:
October 31, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
The Washington Times recently reported that the State Department purchased more than $70,000 worth of your books to stock libraries and distribute as Christmas presents.
Copies of Dreams from My Father, The Audacity of Hope, and Of Thee I Sing were handed out from U.S. Embassies worldwide to, as your Administration has claimed, ‘help broker talks on important foreign-policy matters.’
At a time of record deficits and a heightened need to cut government spending, it is clear that spending taxpayer money in this manner is inappropriate.
Furthermore, as with any book deal, there is no doubt some level of royalties paid to you for each copy purchased by the government. Receiving royalties from government purchases of your book is exactly the type of out-of-touch Washington behavior that the American people are weary of and will no longer tolerate.
We request that you instruct all agencies to no longer purchase copies of your books and remit a payment to the Treasury Department for any royalties received as a result of these sales.
Whether this has been done in the past or not, it should be stopped immediately. Doing so will help to restore the integrity of the Office of the Presidency and assure taxpayers that the government cannot be exploited for the personal gain of elected officials.
Thank you for your attention and response to this critical matter. I look forward to hearing from you.
Rep. David Schweikert