Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

 Senate will consider administration official nominations

By Sen. Joni Ernst

October 29, 2107

Good afternoon folks –

Last month, our national debt hit $20 TRILLION, meaning each Iowan shoulders more than $62,000 of that burden. Our children and grandchildren deserve better than to be left picking up the tab for Washington’s reckless and out-of-control spending.

This is why, every month, I give out my Squeal Award, which recognizes a Washington expense, program or concept that must be closely examined and scrutinized. Continue reading below to hear the latest.

Squeal Award: Sky High Travel Costs

While more and more folks are traveling by plane these days, flights can still be costly. And private planes? Get outta town!

Or, in recent cases, federal agency heads who appear to have an unlimited budget for private and luxurious travel accommodations – at no cost to them!

Recently, reports have emerged that some of our federal agency heads have taken private or charter jets for work-related travel or unnecessary trips, all on the taxpayers’ dime.

Keep in mind: Each agency head, political appointee, and career official is mandated by U.S. Code to travel in the most cost-effective manner. These reports show that our agency heads are not living up to the standards set by this statute.

That’s why two days ago, I sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro requesting he look into the travel of federal officials within the executive branch.

In my letter, I specifically requested the following from the GAO:

  • Are agency heads, political appointees, and career officials within the executive branch traveling in a cost-effective manner?
  • Are the rules and procedures regarding the travel of agency heads, political appointees, and career officials effective in upholding 5 U.S.C. § 5733 and ensuring that the executive branch officials travel in a cost-effective manner? Are these regulations consistent across agencies within the executive branch?

I also asked that the GAO report include recommendations for action that can be taken by Congress and the executive branch to ensure that travel by federal officials is done in a cost-effective manner and that the regulations governing executive branch officials are effective and consistent across the executive branch.

You can read the full text of my letter to the GAO  here.

Because of their exorbitant travel accommodations at the expense of hardworking taxpayers, I hereby present this month’s Squeal Award to our agency heads’ sky high cost of travel.

Do you have an example of government waste or inefficiencies that I should take a look at? Send me an email by clicking here.

Thank you!

 

Leave a Comment