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Lawmakers Bill Taxpayers For TVs, Cameras, Lexus

Posted By admin On June 1, 2009 @ 9:20 am In U.S. News | Comments Disabled

LOUISE RADNOFSKY and T.W. FARNAM
Wall St Journal [1]
Monday, June 1, 2009

WASHINGTON — Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings spent $24,730 in taxpayer money last year to lease a 2008 luxury Lexus hybrid sedan. Ohio Rep. Michael Turner expensed a $1,435 digital camera. Eni Faleomavaega, the House delegate from American Samoa, bought two 46-inch Sony TVs.

The expenditures were legal, properly accounted for and drawn from allowances the U.S. government grants to lawmakers. Equipment purchased with office expense accounts must be returned to the House or the federal General Services Administration when a lawmaker leaves office.

But as British politicians come under widening scorn for spending public money on everything from candy bars to moat-dredging, an examination of U.S. lawmakers’ expense claims shows Washington’s elected officials have also used public funds for eye-catching purchases.

(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)

Lawmakers Bill Taxpayers For TVs, Cameras, Lexus  290509banner [2]

U.S. politicians, unlike their counterparts in Great Britain, can’t bill taxpayers for personal living expenses. The U.S. Treasury gives them an allowance to cover “official and representational expenses,” according to congressional rules, and the lawmakers enjoy a fair amount of discretion in how they use the funds.

The Senate and House release volumes of the reimbursement requests for these allowances, but do not make them available electronically. A Wall Street Journal review of thousands of pages of these records for 2008 expenses showed most lawmaker spending flowed to areas such as staff salaries, travel, office rent and supplies, and printing and mailing.

Full article here [1]


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URLs in this post:

[1] Wall St Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124364352135868189.html

[2] Image: http://www.efoodsdirect.com/ammo-food.html?aid=14&adid=5

[3] Lawmakers challenged to read health care bill before voting: http://www.prisonplanet.com/lawmakers-challenged-to-read-health-care-bill-before-voting.html

[4] US lawmakers pass $690 billion Pentagon bill: http://www.prisonplanet.com/us-lawmakers-pass-690-billion-pentagon-bill.html

[5] Texas Lawmakers AWOL For Vote On TSA Groping Bill: http://www.prisonplanet.com/texas-lawmakers-go-awol-for-vote-on-tsa-groping-bill.html

[6] Obama Family and Staff Cost Taxpayers $1.4 Billion in 2011: http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-family-and-staff-cost-taxpayers-1-4-billion-in-2011.html

[7] GOP lawmakers hear complaints about wider abuses from IRS: http://www.prisonplanet.com/gop-lawmakers-hear-complaints-about-wider-abuses-from-irs.html

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