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house Bill H.R. 2210

Eliminating First-Class Travel for Members of Congress

Argument in favor

You might wind up seated next to your congressional representative.

Cary's Opinion
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06/13/2015
If they want first class, pay the difference, don't put your luxury request on the taxpayer.
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ThomasParker's Opinion
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05/19/2015
Creating an environment in which positions of power are sacred duties instead of sought after for personal gain is necessary and important, and each step--no matter how small--is a step in the right direction.
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Doug's Opinion
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05/28/2015
Unless funded yourself you should not travel first class. It is a waste of money.
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Argument opposed

You might wind up seated next to your congressional representative.

Mdurham44's Opinion
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06/14/2015
Unless the Congress men and women pay for their flights themselves, no taxpayer should foot the bill for them to fly in luxury.
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Austin's Opinion
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06/18/2015
If congress men and women have to travel a lot they should get first class, I have no problem paying a minuscule amount of money for them to have this simple luxury. The cost isn't that much. I mean we pay for a helicopter and a plane for the president, why can't congress have nice seats.
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Sid's Opinion
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03/29/2016
Tax Payers shouldn't have to pay for their flights at all.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2210?

This bill would prohibit the use of taxpayer funds for flying in non-coach seating for members of Congress. 

It would provide a couple of exceptions:

  • When an individual is flying to somewhere outside the continental U.S.
  • A flight is longer than 14 hours
  • The person flying needs to be at their destination the next day
This legislation would also prevent assistants, staff, and other employees of the members of Congress from using taxpayer money to travel first class, with the same exceptions in effect.

Impact

Members of Congress; their staff; other employees of the legislative branch; airlines; and taxpayers.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2210

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) stated in a press release that:
"Currently, there exists a loophole that allows members of Congress to fly first-class at the expense of hardworking taxpayers. Members of Congress are public servants of the people and should not be considered a privileged status. Elected leaders must be judicious in the travel expenses that are paid for with federal funds. Luxury airfare accommodations utilizing taxpayer monies would be inappropriate in any fiscal climate, but at a time of soaring deficits and with a federal debt in excess of $18 trillion, such expenditures are especially wasteful."
Of Note: Congress people get a whole lot of perks when it comes to flying. They get to book themselves on multiple flights so that cancellations or delays are rarely an issue. They get their own parking spaces at Reagan National Airport, which Washington’s port authority estimates has cost over $700 thousand dollars. 

Of course, being in Congress requires no small amount of flying — members need to be back in their home district to talk to their constituents and get back to Washington to vote — but that’s hardly all Congress uses flight for. In 2013, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) took pleasure trips to Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia all on the taxpayer dime.

Media:

(Photo Credit: "SQ First Class 747 cabin" by http://flickr.com/photos/richardmoross - http://flickr.com/photos/richardmoross/3132598166/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons) 

AKA

Coach-Only Airfare for Capitol Hill Act of 2015

Official Title

To prohibit the use of funds provided for the official travel expenses of Members of Congress and other officers and employees of the legislative branch for airline accommodations which are not coach-class accommodations, 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 Administration
    IntroducedMay 1st, 2015
    If they want first class, pay the difference, don't put your luxury request on the taxpayer.
    Like (103)
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    Unless the Congress men and women pay for their flights themselves, no taxpayer should foot the bill for them to fly in luxury.
    Like (22)
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    Creating an environment in which positions of power are sacred duties instead of sought after for personal gain is necessary and important, and each step--no matter how small--is a step in the right direction.
    Like (56)
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    Unless funded yourself you should not travel first class. It is a waste of money.
    Like (35)
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    By treating members of congress like first class citizens in these situations, we are creating an expectancy that they should be treated this way in every situation. I don't want my congress men or women thinking that they have elevated rights compared to every day citizens.
    Like (27)
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    Forcing our politicians to fund their own first-class tickets won't do anything to hinder their travel prospects because more than half of our congressmen are millionaires anyway. They can take the hit to their purse.
    Like (17)
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    If they want the upgrade they can pay for it, paying for travel is enough.
    Like (14)
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    If congress men and women have to travel a lot they should get first class, I have no problem paying a minuscule amount of money for them to have this simple luxury. The cost isn't that much. I mean we pay for a helicopter and a plane for the president, why can't congress have nice seats.
    Like (9)
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    Make congress pay for their upgrades to first class or make them earn the miles to fly it for free.
    Like (5)
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    Tax Payers shouldn't have to pay for their flights at all.
    Like (5)
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    I think Congress should live just like the rest of us. They might actually know what they are talking about for once. Id go a step farther and have them live off my SSI check for a mandatory year.
    Like (5)
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    This seems silly to me. Maybe I'm missing something but I do know this: military members traveling to war don't get a first class seat. Why in the hell should any non-combat government employee? I don't care if it's a prestigious position or not, it doesn't make them better than anyone else, nor more or less deserving (of anything) than anyone else. Anyway, let's be serious, they're already getting paid PLENTY, and are able to expense a ridiculous number of items... If they want to fly first class, more power to them! Fly first class like the rest of us (pay for it).
    Like (4)
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    Absolutely! If they want to fly first class - it should be on their dime - not mine!
    Like (4)
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    This is part of their work, and it should be treated as such.
    Like (4)
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    Being in congress does not make you better than others. Letting them pay or fly economy reminds them that they are not superheroes
    Like (3)
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    Why should they fly first class when I can't. Let them fly coach
    Like (3)
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    Maybe if members of congress start spending more time in coach, they will implement some legislature that, in some way, will make air travel less horrible. =P
    Like (3)
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    If they want to fly first class let them pay for it themselves.
    Like (3)
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    Yes! It might not make much of a dent in federal spending, but every little bit helps! And why should my "representatives" (and I use the term loosely, since they rarely act in accordance with my wants or needs) fly first class when taxpayers are footing the bill?!
    Like (3)
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    Unless they foot the bill, they can live just like regular people. Bernie Sanders does it.
    Like (3)
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