On Monday, Arizona reps. Paul Gosar, Kyrsten Sinema, and Ann Kirkpatrick along with 13 other members of the House submitted a bipartisan language request to the House Appropriations Committee asking them to close a current legislative loophole and prohibit the use of funds in FY 2017 for Members of Congress to fly first-class.
“Members of Congress are public servants of the people and shouldn’t be considered a privileged class. As such, we must be judicious in the travel expenses that are paid for with federal funds. Luxury airfare accommodations utilizing taxpayer monies would seem inappropriate in any fiscal climate, but at a time of soaring deficits and with a federal debt rocketing towards $20 trillion by the end of the year, such expenditures are especially wasteful,” said Gosar in a statement released Monday. “Congress cannot ask the American people to accept spending cuts without first cutting our own budget.”
The requested language seeks to codify language that is in line with requirements for travel by employees in the Executive Branch. If federal restrictions prohibit members of our military from traveling first-class, this same standard should also apply to Members of Congress.
Congressman Gosar has also introduced legislation to prohibit this practice in the form of the COACH Act, H.R. 2210.