REP LIEU AMENDMENT TO STOP TAXPAYER-FUNDED PRIVATE JET TRAVEL IS ADOPTED, WILL BE INCLUDED IN FINAL HR 1 VOTE
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) delivered remarks on his amendment to H.R. 1, the SWAMP FLYERS, or “Stop Waste and Misuse by Presidential Flyers Landing Yet Evading Rules and Standards” Amendment. The Amendment was adopted by voice vote and will be included in the final H.R. 1 bill. The amendment would prohibit Trump Administration officials from using taxpayer funds for non-commercial air travel.
Repeatedly, this administration’s officials have abused taxpayer funds for lavish air travel with no discernable justification or public benefit. Early in the Trump Administration, former HHS Secretary Tom Price spent over $400,000 of taxpayer funds on private jet travel, including flying to meet his son for lunch. Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt spent over $58,000 of taxpayer funds on private and military jet travel. Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent $39,000 on a helicopter tour of national monuments in Nevada and $12,000 on a private jet from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he spoke to a hockey team owned by a major donor, to his home in Montana.
Upon adoption, Mr. Lieu said:
“This is a commonsense amendment. It would simply prevent government officials from using taxpayer funds to travel on a non-commercial, private or chartered flight. If your official business does not rise to the level of needing a government plane, the American people should not be on the hook for your lavish travel preferences. As any Member of Congress knows, you can reach any corner of the U.S. by flying commercial.
Eliminating waste, fraud and abuse has long been a bipartisan mission of the U.S. Congress—and I can think of few more obvious candidates than paying for private jets for cabinet officials to gallivant around the country. As every Member of Congress can attest, commercial travel can get you to any district in the country.
Frankly, it is difficult to believe I have to introduce this amendment. But evidently, multiple Trump cabinet officials apparently believe taxpayer funds can be used for personal travel benefits.”
In 2017, Rep. Lieu introduced the SWAMP FLYERS Act, with Reps. Gallego, Raskin and Jayapal.