Capitol Gift Shops in the Red: Report

Ordered to find a way to balance the ledger

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012  |  Updated 11:24 AM EDT
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Capitol Gift Shops in the Red: Report

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The nation's budget is far out of balance, and it seems like the story is the same for Capitol's two gift shops.

According to a new report from the Hill, the two gift shops located inside the U.S. Capitol building and operated by the Architect of the Capitol's office are losing money.

From the Hill:

Lawmakers were worried enough about the mounting losses to include language in last month’s 2012 omnibus spending measure to figure out how to make the shops profitable. The provision asks the AoC to report back by March 31 with a plan to get the shops out of the red.

Goods inside the Capitol gift shops are pricey, and there is a reason.  The two stores operate under a federal mandate that they only sell goods made in America - making items there more expensive than the typical trinket souvenir.

The two gift shops employs 20 workers.  The cost of their salaries and health benefits costs $1 million a year, according to the Hill.

The Architect's office said sales in the gift shops cover the cost of restocking the shelves, but have not said how far in the red finances have sunk.

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