Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said at a congressional hearing over the controversy the panel would support and encourage the GSA to root out corruption, CNN reported. She emphasized the GSA has a history of misconduct dating back decades and said President Barack Obama should not be blamed.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said at the hearing -- the third in three days -- that of all government entities, the GSA would have the propensity to do something dishonest because "they deal with huge numbers."
"I am concerned that this type of waste has become an embedded part of the culture at the GSA," Inhofe said. "One can only wonder what kind of waste would have occurred in a better economy."
A report by Inspector General Brian Miller revealed the GSA used taxpayer funds to pay for extravagant conferences and personal travel thinly guised as government business, CNN said.
In one instance, GSA officials spent more than $800,000 on a conference that included a catered joke awards ceremony.