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house Bill H.R. 6295

Should Political Appointees Personally Repay the Gov’t if They Misuse Funds?

Argument in favor

Taxpayers should not foot the bill for Washington bureaucrats’ illegal expenses. This bill ensures that the government is repaid personally by officials who misuse public funds.

burrkitty's Opinion
Don’t embezzlers normally have to pay back their victims for their crimes? Of course these corrupted cockroaches should pay. And rot in prison.
Like (195)
Mindful's Opinion
How about adding a real disincentive. Pay a hefty fine & publish their name. Consider: should we include those in violation of the “Emolument Clause”-same ‘disincentive’ measure applies?
Like (116)
Martha's Opinion
YES!If they misuse funds in any way they should Go to jail.
Like (100)

Argument opposed

While there are occasional misuses of funds, there aren’t enough cases of misuse to justify the additional strain this legislation will put on agency IGs and GAO.

Nick-Papagiorgio's Opinion
Of course not. Do we ask bank robbers to just return to loot? Stealing is a crime. Steal, and go to jail.
Like (16)
Nicholas's Opinion
It’s not thatI disagree with the fundamental principle, it’s the definition of “misuse” that could result in government appointees and agents having no freedom to do anything without fear of liability
Like (8)
James 's Opinion
Seems like another way to punish political opponents, Harass them so they can’t do their jobs. Using current laws, adjudicate charges and punish those found guilty seems like a more reasonable approach. We don’t need more laws, we need people in government that understand and practice ethics.
Like (5)

What is House Bill H.R. 6295?

This bill — the Cut the Perks Act — would requires political appointees to personally repay taxpayer-dollars that they misused following a determination of misused by either the agency’s inspector general (IG) or the Government Accountability Office (GAO).


Political appointees; agency inspector generals; and Government Accountability Office.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6295

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced this bill to ensure that political appointees personally reimburse the government for illegal expenditures of public money:

“No taxpayer should ever foot the bill for Washington bureaucrats’ illegal expenses.”

Cosponsor Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA) added that, under current regulations, there are insufficient restrictions on politicians’ use of public funds:

“There are currently no restrictions on flying first class on the taxpayer’s dime, and Members of Congress can spend up to $1,000 of tax dollars a month leasing a luxury vehicle of their choice. This is ridiculous and needs to stop now. Being in Congress should be about public service, not enjoying perks funded by Americans’ taxes.”

This bill has five cosponsors, including four Republicans and one Democrat.

Of Note:

Under current law, if a political appointee’s political expense is found to be illegal, there is no legal requirement that they personally pay it back, or that the money be refunded to taxpayers.

In practice, appointees often refund money because of public pressure — but even when they do, they don’t always pay the full sum back. For example, President Donald Trump’s original Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, only refunded taxpayers about one-eighth of the cost of the private flights which forced his resignation.


Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock / MarioGuti)


Cut the Perks Act

Official Title

To require a Government political appointee to reimburse the Government for the unlawful use of Federal funds, 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
    IntroducedJune 28th, 2018