Commentary: Retiring Senators Seek Funding to Preserve Their Own Files

Commentary by Adam Andrzejewski originally published at

How does spending $10 million to preserve the files of retiring U.S. senators sound?

That’s how much the Senate Appropriations Committee is seeking “to ensure a full historical record of a senator’s service.”

It’s also interesting timing that Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is himself retiring next year after eight terms.

A $10 million retirement gift seems a tad bit pricey.

Leahy is the only Democrat among five other retiring senators: Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO); Richard Burr (R-NC); Rob Portman (R-OH); Richard Shelby (R-AL); and Patrick Toomey (R-PA). Shelby and Blunt sit on the Appropriations Committee along with Leahy.

Leahy recently announced his retirement but the National Archives already has a live link next to his name for the University of Vermont’s Howe Library, where the senator’s papers will be going.

Burr also has a home designated for his Senate papers, announcing four years before he was set to retire that Wake Forest University, his alma mater, would get his records.

Wake Forest announced then that it was creating a Richard Burr Center, in partnership with the library.

Shelby also announced earlier in November that his records would go to the University of Alabama, his alma mater, and recipient of many Shelby-backed Congressional earmarks during his Senate tenure.

It’s unclear whether the House Appropriations Committee will agree to the Senate bill or if the provision will pass the Senate and get signed into law.

But it’s clear that the senators who drafted the provision think the burden of packing up their offices for retirement deserves a $10 million retirement gift from taxpayers.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at