Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger hopes to re-instill confidence in elected officials with a “symbolic” bill that will protect citizen donations to national debt reduction.
The congressman from Baltimore County made the announcement Tuesday afternoon . (See videos.)
“Recently, I learned that these donations were not going specifically to reduce the national debt,” Ruppersberger said. “[The donations] were going into the General Fund, which is basically our checkbook.”
President John F. Kennedy signed the law allowing for donations to help reduce the national debt in 1963. Since then, Americans have donated $81.7 million to the fund to retire the national debt.
“We’ve got trillions of dollars to deal with,” Ruppersberger said of the national debt. “[My bill is] more symbolic because it’s not the type of money that we need to reduce the deficit, but it will also hopefully bring trust back in government.”
Ruppersberger’s bill will require the U.S. Treasury to deposit donations into a separate bank account, set aside specifically for reducing the national debt.
Roughly 20 to 30 donations, typically under $500, are collected each month, according to a release.
The congressman said he would introduce the new legislation Wednesday.