Sending Office: Honorable Tom O’Halleran
In recent weeks, reports of executive branch officials abusing government travel and aircraft rules for official and personal travel have highlighted a disturbing trend. As Members of Congress, we must take these concerning actions seriously and conduct
appropriate oversight while re-examining the current system in place.
The Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) outline the rules applicable to senior federal officials and agencies for requesting, approving, and using government aircraft for official and non-official travel. However, the reports of Cabinet officials inappropriately
requesting or utilizing government aircraft demonstrate a violation of the spirit of the FTR, which state clearly that “Taxpayers should pay no more than necessary for [officials’] travel”.
That’s why I have introduced the Taxpayers Don’t Incur Meaningless Expenses (Taxpayers DIME) Act. My legislation will:
- Ensure no taxpayer dollars are spent on government travel that violates the rules that apply to senior federal officials.
- Increase transparency and oversight by requiring federal agencies to provide reports on a quarterly basis to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs detailing all travel on
government aircraft by senior federal officials, excluding classified travel.
- Require the independent Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to report to Congress within one year on ways to strengthen current rules.
Regardless of party, those who serve the American public must be held to the highest ethical standards. Our ability to hold government officials accountable to taxpayers is a hallmark of our democracy, and we must work to uphold that principle. The resources
invested to agencies to fulfill their missions of serving our constituents should not be abused or frivolously flaunted for personal gain or convenience.
I hope you will join me in standing up for greater transparency and accountability for government officials. For questions or to co-sponsor this important legislation, please contact Xenia Ruiz (Xenia.Ruiz@mail.house.gov)
in my office.
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0