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Bridget Johnson


April 12, 2012 - 7:58 am

In advance of a Monday hearing to probe exorbitant expenditures at the General Services Administration, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Republicans pointed out today that the conference spending in question shot up during President Obama’s term.

Administration figures have claimed that Western Region Conference spending by the GSA increased 248 percent during the Bush years, from 2004 to 2006.

“While the Obama Administration claimed that the 2004 conference cost only $93,000, figures from GSA indicate that the actual cost was $401,024,” Oversight leadership said today. “Instead of costs going up 248% between 2004 and 2006, as had been claimed, costs were actually reduced – from $401,024 in 2004 to $323,855 in 2006 – a 19% decrease in cost.”

Excluding event travel costs, there’s a greater pattern of how much is being spent on lavish accommodations and accoutrements:

2004 – $169,387
2006 – $142,535
2008 – $234,463
2010 – $513,465

The “other event costs” category, which excludes hotel, airfare and planning costs, jumped by 312 percent as federal workers this year enjoyed $4 shrimp, a $75,000 bike building exercise, and costume rentals for lavish parties:

2004 – $10,567
2006 – $32,863
2008 – $45,859
2010 – $188,826

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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