(See Update below. Sit down first.)
When lawmakers travel overseas on official business they are given up to $250 a day in taxpayer funds to cover meals and expenses. Congressional rules say they must return any leftover cash to the government.
They usually don’t.
“If that was the policy, you could never get many members traveling,” said Rep. Solomon Ortiz, a Texas Democrat. Mr. Ortiz said he had never returned any money.
Good idea! Stay home, save us the money and take care of your own country for a change!
Former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican, said lawmakers often used leftover money “for shopping or to buy souvenirs to bring back to constituents. That’s fairly standard.”
Well it’s nice to know that keeping taxpayer money is “standard”. I’m really glad you are a “Former” representative.
Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) said he once bought marble goblets in the Kabul airport as gifts for constituents. Rep. Mark Souder (R., Ind.) said he dipped into his funds to buy a $200 painting of an estuary in Turkey, which hung in his office for a while and was now in his house.
Ah so we get to decorate your home too, thief.
Lawmakers who said they sometimes keep excess funds said the amounts were small. “I won’t deny that sometimes I have a little left, but it’s not much—maybe 80, 90, or 100 dollars,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.).
“The extra money and the plus-ups are really for the spouses,” said Mr. Souder, the Indiana Republican.
No Mr. Souder, the extra money if for RETURNING. Nobody elected your spouse.
……….And the winner of the Arrogance Prize is:
“You are all concerned about nickels and dimes, and I’m not,” said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.). “You know, in a taxicab in Kazakhstan, I don’t have time to get a receipt—I don’t speak Kazakh.”
I……I……..don’t even know what to say to this jerk.
Hastings also says that he often gives left over money away, kind of like Diamond Jim.
“I’m a generous spirit and a courteous spirit,”
Indeed you are Rep. Hastings. With other people’s money. Try giving your own damned money away next time, Mr. Generous.
Incidentally, while the USA is falling apart,
In the past two years, hundreds of lawmakers spent a total of 5,300 days visiting 130 foreign countries on taxpayer-funded trips, according to congressional travel records.
House lawmakers received between $375,000 and $625,000 in per diem cash over that period, according to a Wall Street Journal estimate based on per diem rates and congressional travel disclosures. There’s no documentation for how those funds were spent. Estimates for Senate travel couldn’t be calculated.
Oh and one more thing: It seems that all these people “didn’t know” they were supposed to return surplus per diem money. They make our laws and don’t know their own rules. Or at least they don’t know the ones that don’t suit them.
“Nickels and dimes” to the out-of-touch Congress. Not nickles and dimes to people who are out of work.
However, I feel obligated to tell you that Arlen Specter returns left over per diem money to a fault. He returned $8,500 of the $25,000 he received for a total of 11 trips. Dick Durbin also was one of only two of a dozen who took a trip to Lithuania and returned left over money.
**Update: I just thought I would update this post to reflect what true slime we have in Congress. While they piss away $250 a day on their trips, they rejected a bill to give a $250 one-time check to seniors and veterans.
Read about these thieving gasbags here. Note how one of them points out that it’s illegal to cut those checks. Apparently, it’s not illegal for him to keep per diem money any longer though.
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