About a month after Democrat Rep. Jim Moran asserted “that the members of Congress are underpaid,” a group of his peers are suggesting they might be receiving too much for their work.
In addition to an annual salary of $174,000, legislators also regularly take advantage of perks including first-class air travel. If one bipartisan group within the U.S. House has its way, however, such taxpayer-funded benefits will be a thing of the past.
“As representatives of the American people, we in Congress have a responsibility to wisely use the people’s money,” Republican Rep. Walter Jones said in a statement regarding House Resolution 4632.
He went on to affirm that legislators “should never secure their own luxury travel at taxpayer expense, but they especially should not do so when our nation is buried $17 trillion deep in debt.”
The proposed bill, titled the “If Our Military Has to Fly Coach Then So Should Congress Act,” has support from both sides of the aisle and would restrict lawmakers and their staff from securing first-class airfare on the taxpayer’s dime unless it is medically necessary.
Democrat Rep. Raul Ruiz feels it is “wrong that members of Congress can purchase luxury airfare with taxpayer money when many families in my district and across the country are struggling to make ends meet.”
Judging by social media activity, the general public seems overwhelmingly on board with the initiative.
@WillMcAvoyACN Gee, If Congress had to fly coach, maybe they STAY IN DC more often actually DO their jobs!
— Imzadi (@Imzadi121) May 13, 2014
Some reactions, however, might give supporters pause.
A terrible new bill would force Congress to fly coach. Do we want those people sitting by us?
— Gerry House (@GerryHouse1) May 13, 2014
The Washington Times conducted a study last year to determine how much public money is spent on travel expenses for members of Congress. According to the investigation, as much as $10 million each year goes to fund overseas trips. The regular treks between D.C. and their home district adds substantially more to that total.
Of course, even if successful, the legislation would apparently not affect the frequent Obama family trips funded by already beleaguered American taxpayers.
Photo Credit: Joe Ravi (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom