Despite budget cuts, Congress members seemingly spend big
Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 12:01 PM CDT
WASHINGTON -- $2,200 for coffee in one month.
That's the amount one member of Congress spent for latte. To make matters worse, this was just months before the federal government was forced to shave $85 billion from the budget.
By congressional standards, upscale 'wining and dining' it's not. But in the months leading up to forced belt tightening lawmakers had no incentive to cut their own perks.
Expenditure reports obtained by the Washington Guardian show in the final three months of 2012 -- the offices of House Republican leaders spent nearly $30,000 on "supplies." More than 80 percent of that -- $24,000 -- went for food and beverages at places such as Dunkin Donuts, Whole Foods, PF Chang's restaurant and grocery stores.
House Speaker John Boehner's office enjoys coffee, spending more than $22,000 on cups of joe just in the month of November.
Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's office seemingly ate like no tomorrow, dropping nearly $2,500 at the Qdoba Mexican Grill, $2,300 for Chicken-Out Catering and another $2,600 at a Buca Di Beppo restaurant.
Mcarthy's office told the Guardian, "We have been planning for the cuts as a result of the sequester and have made the necessary adjustments to our budget."
"It's the absolute height of hypocrisy for Congress to call for budget cuts. Yet, they are living lavishley, giving their staff bonuses and really not taking any sort of of pay cut," said David Williams with the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
Democratic lawmakers during the same period spent tens of thousands on rental cars and nearly $10,000 more to attend an emergency management convention.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spent more than $1,100 on office supplies.
"The end of year spending spree was capped off with bonuses, according to CNN, Democrats and Republicans awarded congressional aides $2.5 million worth of cash bonuses," Williams said.
"It shows a disconnect between the members of Congress and they people they represent," said John Dedie with the Community College of Baltimore County.
American's are taking note. A recent gallup poll found the job approval rating for Congress stuck at 14 percent, near an all time low.
What perks do you think your member of congress should cut out -- let us know on our Facebook page.
There's other ways lawmakers have been taking care of themselves and you can read about that by going to the Washington Guardian.