Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., submitted a request to the Committee on Appropriations Tuesday, asking them to prohibit members of Congress from flying first class.
"Members of Congress are servants of the people and should not be considered a privileged class,” Gosar wrote. “Luxury airfare accommodations utilizing taxpayer monies would seem inappropriate in any fiscal climate but at a time of soaring deficits and with a federal debt in excess of $17 trillion such expenditures are especially wasteful."
The request reads in part: “Efficient travel to and from congressional districts contributes to effective executing on the constitutional and official duties of members of Congress. As with all federal spending, Member’s Representational Allowance funds are taxpayer dollars. As such, the use of these funds must be exercised with the utmost efficiency and transparency. A loophole currently exists that allows members of Congress to fly first-class at the expense of the taxpayer.”
Gosar believes the same federal restrictions that ban the military from first-class travel should apply to Congress as well and hopes the Fiscal Year 2015 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act will reflect this, encouraging Congress to be “judicious in the travel and expenses that are paid for with federal funds.”
Gosar has submitted several other requests this week, all aimed at cutting wasteful spending. In a press release Friday, Gosar is quoted as saying, “One of my top priorities is eliminating waste, fraud and abuse within the bloated federal bureaucracy.”
After the request was submitted, Gosar issued the following statement:
“Members of Congress shouldn't be allowed to fly first class on the taxpayer's dime. It's absolutely wasteful and completely unacceptable that Members of Congress -- servants of the people -- are currently allowed to fly first class using hard-earned taxpayer money, especially at a time when our ballooning national debt threatens the fiscal security of generations to come. The taxpayers deserve accountability from their government and oversight on how it spends their money."
[Gosar's Request] [Press Release]