Federal Government Travel & A Culture of Excess

In a time when the President is deploying scare tactics about sequestration, reports of luxury travel by federal government employees just goes to show the obvious places that government spending needs to be reigned in.  I chaired a hearing this week on the House Oversight Subcommittee which oversees the Federal Workforce, and we looked into how we can reduce government travel costs and save taxpayer dollars.  

Some of the examples of spending associated with federal travel would shock you.  One example we found was a government conference that had $47 per person, per day lunches.  Nearly $50 just for one meal! 

The point of this hearing was not to say that federal travel or conferences are not needed.  There is a lot of good that comes out of them.  What we’re trying to do is change the culture of how public money is spent, making sure that people traveling on the taxpayer dime are being frugal, and spending the money as carefully as they would spend their own.  

Washington based newspaper, The Washington Examiner, covered the hearing.  An excerpt from their story is below:

Speaking of the sequester…There is no doubt that the cuts in the sequester are not the right way to cut spending.  But the whole reason we are in this situation is because the President, Harry Reid, and the Senate Democrats refused to do their job and put forward an alternative plan.  By contrast, the House has acted twice to replace it.  And for those who work at CCAD or the Naval Air Station, I expect to see legislation that will allow the Army to retask funds away from outdated uses, like the war in Iraq, and toward needed operations, like our Depot, in March.    

The fact is, CCAD is the shining star of the Depot system, saving the Army million of dollars, and America needs it operating at 100%.  

Here’s an interview I did this week with Kiii 3 News on that subject.

District Office Update: 

In Victoria this week, my caseworkers were able to assist a family owned pharmacy cut through some red tape and get help with Medicare.  Also, a few members of my staff attended the groundbreaking this week of the Tenaris Regional Steel Pipe plant in Bay City.  The plant, when fully completed, will create 600 jobs in Matagorda County.

In Corpus Christi, I attended the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new VA Specialty Clinic.  Mayor Nelda Martinez, as well as Mr. Robert Walton, Director of the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Healthcare System, were in attendance, and the National Anthem was preformed by the Veterans Band of Corpus Christi.  

This new clinic is going to be a great asset to our local veterans, and I am confident that with this facility now up and running, they are going to receive better, more expedited care.

The photo above is from the ribbon cutting ceremony. Standing to my left is the Director of the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Healthcare System, Mr. Robert Walton. To his left is the Mayor of Corpus Christi, Ms. Nelda Martinez.

Also, if you are an early riser, I’ll be on Fox and Friends tomorrow morning around 5:45am so tune in! We’ll be talking about how poorly the government spends money, and what I’m working on as an Oversight Committee Chairman to increase transparency and make the government accountable to you, the hardworking taxpayer.