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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 19, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Three members of the House are asking Appropriations Committee leaders to insert language in this year’s budget for Congress that blocks lawmakers from booking first-class tickets on the taxpayers’ dime.

“Members of Congress are public servants of the people and shouldn’t be considered a privileged class,” states the letter from Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) and Walt Jones (R-N.C.).

“As such, we must be judicious in the travel expenses that are paid for with federal funds,” the congressmen continue. “Luxury airfare accommodations utilizing taxpayer monies would seem inappropriate in any fiscal climate, but at a time of soaring deficits and with a federal debt in excess of $17 trillion, such expenditures are especially wasteful.”

The requested language in the appropriations bill “allows for reasonable exceptions like accommodating a disability or other substantiated medical need” and “seeks to codify language that is in line with requirements for travel by employees in the Executive Branch.”

“If federal restrictions prohibit members of our military from traveling first-class, this same standard should also apply to Members of Congress.”

Travel between Washington and a member’s home district comes out of the taxpayer-funded member’s allowance.

“We in Congress have a responsibility to wisely use the American people’s money,” Jones said. “Representatives should never secure their own luxury travel at taxpayer expense, but they especially should not do so when our nation is buried in $17 trillion of debt.”

Bridget Johnson is a career 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 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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All Comments   (5)
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I have no problem with elected officials flying first class as long as they pay for the difference between it and coach themselves.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
In principal I agree with you. In practice, they'd find a way to game the system.

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've often thought that the employees/officers of 501(C)(3) organizations should be prohibited from flying first class or, at least, reporting in a public record when and why the did. The same holds true for staying in five star hotels or eating in high end restaurants.
The same kind of reporting/prohibitions should also apply to the employees/officers of labor unions.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why isn't this already in place? I work for a state university and travel once a year for a conference. I'd never think to ask for a first class ticket.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, they are going to get SMACKED by their colleagues!


19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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