Cleaning Instructions, Sponges Delivered to All 535 Hill Offices, Urging Lawmakers to Wipe Away Dirty Omnibus Riders


WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Make your budget so clean it sparkles!” reads a set of cleaning instructions delivered today to all 535 members of Congress, courtesy of the Clean Budget Coalition, which is fighting to remove hundreds of harmful riders from the omnibus spending package due on March 23. The cleaning instructions were accompanied by green scouring pad sponges and a list of dirty riders that need to be scrubbed away from the appropriations package. See images below.

“There’s nothing worse than a dirty budget,” the instructions say. “Federal budget and appropriations legislation should not contain filthy riders. Follow these care and cleaning instructions to remove any and all of the inappropriate riders from the omnibus.” Cleaning supplies recommended by the instructions include:

– A fresh sponge to help lawmakers scrub away the hundreds of dirty riders;
– Disinfecting soap that will make the omnibus so clean it sparkles;
– Protective gloves so lawmakers avoid direct contact with all the toxic poison pills;
– A cleaning apron to avoid ugly stains on lawmakers’ public appearance;
– A mop and bucket in case dirty riders spill onto the House or Senate floor; and
– Fresh towels to wipe away the mess the harmful riders made in the appropriations process.

“If lawmakers are going to wipe away all the dirty riders by the March 23 deadline, they really need to put their backs into it,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen who co-chairs the Clean Budget Coalition. “The sponges and cleaning instructions should remind lawmakers in both parties that passing a clean omnibus spending package is a top priority. Among the hundreds of dirty riders that must be removed from the funding package are measures that would do lasting harm to our nation’s campaign finance system, our environment, women’s health, civil rights, worker health and safety, immigrant communities, Wall Street reforms that protect consumers and our economy, and more.”

On March 1, the 200 civil society groups in the coalition hosted a telephone press conference featuring U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Jan Schakowsy (D-Ill.), and coalition leaders – who called for the exclusion of toxic riders as a precondition of Democratic support. An audio recording of the call is available online.

Press Contacts: David Rosen,, (202) 588-7742
Angela Bradbery,, (202) 588-7741

CREDITS: Noun Project icons designed by Philipp Bock, Yorlmar Campos, ILKEBRS, Rudy Jaspers, kareemovic2000, Laymik, parkjisun, Dev Patel and Royyan Wijaya. Cleaning instructions designed by David Rosen, communications officer on regulatory affairs for Public Citizen. All images and videos on this page are public domain. Additional media content will be posted as it becomes available.


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