A new new bill introduced by a bipartisan group of congressman will prevent members of Congress from flying first class on taxpayer money. H.R. 4632, known as the “If Our Military Has To Fly Coach Then So Should Congress Act“, would set limits on Congressional travel that matches the ticket requirements that exist through the rest of the federal government. Members and their staffs would be required to fly coach unless they have a disability or medical need that requires them to fly in first class.
Representative Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican said “As representatives of the American people, we in Congress have a responsibility to wisely use the people’s money. Members of the House and Senate should never secure their own luxury travel at taxpayer expense, but they especially should not do so when our nation is buried $17 trillion deep in debt.”
Representative Raul Ruiz (D-CA) shared a similar sentiment as Jones, saying “It’s wrong that members of Congress can purchase luxury airfare with taxpayer money when many families in my district and across the county are struggling to make ends meet.”
Two other members, Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and John Barrow (D-GA), also are co-sponsors of the bill.
According to a Washington Times investigation, the U.S. Congress spends between $6 million and $10 million on international travel alone. This number does not include the costs spent on members traveling between Washington, DC and their district.