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house Bill H.R. 1463

Should Taxpayer Dollars Not Fund Travel by Federal Officials That Violates Travel Regulations?

Argument in favor

Governmental officials shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer dollars using government and private jets to travel the country in an unofficial capacity. This bill strengthens rules against such wasteful spending and promotes transparency.

John's Opinion
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04/27/2019
Elected and appointed officials should not treat travel like a perk of the job. They should be held accountable for wasting taxpayer dollars.
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IllWill's Opinion
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04/27/2019
If you violate the federal travel rules, you should have to pay back all the extra money that you spent and you should immediately lose your job! Politicians seem to think that they can live by their own set of rules. You work for us! If you break the rules then you’re out!
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Deborah's Opinion
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04/27/2019
Anyone that violates the rules should be paying fines, like the rest of us! Why should we just pretend it never happened? What’s to make them ever do it fairly? Of course they’re not going to as long as there is no penalty!
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Argument opposed

There are already regulations against this in place, so there’s no need for legislation — it’s a matter of bureaucrats finding the willpower to hold themselves accountable and enforce their own rules.

SirRobert's Opinion
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04/27/2019
Why would we pay for an unauthorized expense?
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David's Opinion
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04/27/2019
I assume you are referring to Nancy Pelosi's trip with all her grandchildren to Europe..... the statement is far too broad and intentionally misleading to be taken seriously. Just another spear from the left.
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Ellen's Opinion
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04/27/2019
We should not be responsible for paying one red cent!
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What is House Bill H.R. 1463?

This bill — the Taxpayers DIME Act of 2019 — would prohibit the use of funds for travel expenses of senior federal officials that violate the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR). Agencies would be required to submit quarterly reports to Congress on travel by senior federal officials on government aircraft. The Office of Government Ethics would be required to produce a report suggesting ways to strengthen the FTR, which would be provided to Congress and made publicly available.

The bill’s full title is the Taxpayers Don’t Incur Meaningless Expenses Act of 2019.

Impact

Federal officials traveling using government resources; federal agencies; and the OGE.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1463

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress as part of a package of five ethics and transparency bills (including the NOPE ActTaxpayers DIME ActProtecting Defense Dollars Act, and NO FLIGHTS Act) aimed at cleaning up corruption in D.C. and restoring faith in Congress. The bill package aims to crack down on lawmakers’ and bureaucrats’ use of private jets and first-class flights, end the revolving door from Congress to lucrative lobbying jobs, protect Department of Defense (DOD) funds from being used for unethical travel, end special perks for members of Congress, prevent government shutdowns, and protect the independent Office of Congressional ethics from political threats. Rep. O'Halleran says of the package: 

“When I was elected to Congress, I made a commitment to clean up Washington and end the special taxpayer-funded perks for elected officials and bureaucrats. The first bills I introduced would have protected an ethics watchdog office, banned first-class flights for members of Congress, and frozen Congressional salaries, among other things, and I am proud to re-introduce them today. We must hold our government leaders to the highest standards, and with so many high-profile ethics violations in the past years, it is clear we have failed to do that. No matter who controls Congress or the White House, we have to hold everyone accountable regardless of party. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase transparency in Washington.”

In a March 2019 op-ed in the White Mountain Independent, Rep. O'Halleran further expounded on the need for this bill package: 

"The American people are best served by a government that is focused on the needs of our country, not politicians only seeking to enrich themselves. I am committed to holding every government official accountable and increasing transparency in Washington, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important legislation."

Last Congress, Rep. O'Halleran argued that this bill was needed to increase transparency and oversight of government travel and strengthen existing rules against wasteful air travel by officials that violates federal travel regulations:

“Taxpayers are rightfully outraged by the disturbing practice of government officials wasting their hard-earned dollars on government and private jets to travel the country. It is time to put an end to this. The Taxpayers DIME Act strengthens rules against wasteful government spending and brings greater transparency to how agency resources for government travel are used or abused. Those who serve the American people, regardless of political affiliation, must be held to the highest ethical standard, and I will continue pushing for greater transparency and accountability in Washington.”

In a letter to his Congressional colleagues seeking cosponsors for this bill in the 115th Congress, Rep. O'Halleran wrote that this bill is needed to ensure federal agencies' resources are used appropriately

"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."

This bill, along with Rep. O'Halleran's Protecting Defense Dollars Act, was included in H.R. 1, the For the People Act as amendments. After his three amendments to H.R. 1 passed the House by a unanimous vote on March 3, 2019, Rep. O'Halleran said

"When I was elected to Congress, I made a commitment to Arizonans that I would hold Washington accountable to the American people and increase transparency. By passing my legislation today, we are delivering results and ensuring the hardworking families in my district that, regardless, of party, leaders in Washington will be held to task when it comes to spending their tax dollars. After years of hearing reports that senior government officials were misusing tax dollars for lavish travel, it is clear that we need to exercise our oversight responsibilities."

This legislation doesn't have any cosponsors in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, it had the support of six Democratic cosponsors in the House and didn't receive a committee vote.


Of Note: The Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) outline the rules that govern senior federal officials' and agencies' processes for requesting, approving, and using government aircraft for both official and non-official travel. However, as Rep. O'Halleran wrote in a letter to his Congressional colleagues seeking cosponsors for this bill in the 115th Congress, "[r]eports continue to illustrate that executive branch officials abuse government travel and aircraft rules for official and personal travel."

Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned after it was revealed he spent more than $400,000 on charter jets between May and September.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: yoh4nn / iStock)

AKA

Taxpayers DIME Act of 2019

Official Title

To limit the use of Federal funds for the use of the travel expenses of senior Federal officials in contravention of certain regulations, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedFebruary 28th, 2019
    Elected and appointed officials should not treat travel like a perk of the job. They should be held accountable for wasting taxpayer dollars.
    Like (172)
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    Why would we pay for an unauthorized expense?
    Like (15)
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    If you violate the federal travel rules, you should have to pay back all the extra money that you spent and you should immediately lose your job! Politicians seem to think that they can live by their own set of rules. You work for us! If you break the rules then you’re out!
    Like (104)
    Follow
    Share
    Anyone that violates the rules should be paying fines, like the rest of us! Why should we just pretend it never happened? What’s to make them ever do it fairly? Of course they’re not going to as long as there is no penalty!
    Like (66)
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    👍🏻👍🏻HOUSE Bill,H.R. 1463 AKA the “Taxpayers DIME Act of 2019” 👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in support of and recommend the passage of the House Bill H.R. 1463 AKA the “Taxpayers DIME Act of 2019” which would prohibit the use of funds for travel expenses of senior federal officials that violate the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR). Agencies would be required to submit quarterly reports to Congress on travel by senior federal officials on government aircraft. The Office of Government Ethics would be required to produce a report suggesting ways to strengthen the FTR, which would be provided to Congress and made publicly available. Governmental officials shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer dollars using government and private jets to travel the country in an unofficial capacity. This bill strengthens rules against such wasteful spending and promotes transparency. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻HR-1463😂👍🏻👍🏻. 4*27*19.....
    Like (51)
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    Apparently current laws are insufficient to prevent such practices. So it is time to make such a prohibition crystal clear!
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    This isn’t Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on my tax $$$. If it violates the travel restrictions they Must pay for it.
    Like (28)
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    WHEN AN ELECTED OFFICIAL USES TAX PAYER TRANSPORTATION ERRONEOUSLY THEY MUST MUST MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE BY STIFF PERSONAL FINES AND INCARCERATION IN A HIGH SECURITY PRISON WITH THE GENERAL PRISON POPULATION AND FORCED TO PAY FOR IT OUT OF THEIR OWN PERSONAL POCKETS OF COURSE !
    Like (27)
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    Someone needs to check these funny worded questions. Dang. Okay I believe these morons should get a travel budget and anything above their budget has to be approved. Although seeing as how this great country of ours can’t stick to its budget or at least be accountable for I bet our legislators won’t either.
    Like (26)
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    We should not pay if they can’t follow the rules.
    Like (23)
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    Travel on your own dime!
    Like (22)
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    Big corporations may allow execs to use corporate resources for personal, non-business purposes, but we need a higher bar in our Government. No vacays for buds on taxpayer dimes!
    Like (21)
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    I was in the military for eight years and a civil service for 31 years. We traveled utilizing the least expensive means. I feel every government employee and members of Congress and most of the administration members should follow suit. With the exception of our President, Vice President and Secretary of State. All else coach fare.
    Like (20)
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    They should use their own money for trips for their concerns
    Like (14)
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    Tax dollars should not fund irregularities and irresponsible travel by government officials. Crack down on these grifters. Now.
    Like (14)
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    Yes they should be punished
    Like (12)
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    This is a no brainer. If they spend over what is allowed or reasonable, they should be forced to pay it back. I’m a government employee who travels. If I want anything extra (such as economy plus for the leg room), I need to cover it myself. Why shouldn’t they cover it as well. In fact, if I take a taxis from the airport to the hotel and the shuttle is cheaper, I have to cover the ride.
    Like (12)
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    Save taxpayers money!
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    These people are treated like royalty and flying first class with our money that should go to MY KID...drain the swamp!!! I want transparency!
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    If I spend outside my budget, I suffer for it. My elected officials should not get away with it either.
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