Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) introduced legislation that will reform and increase transparency of the reimbursement process for travel by members of Congress. This legislation will require greater disclosure of air travel details before reimbursements can be made using official government funds.
"Lawmakers frequently make trips between D.C. and their home districts each week on the taxpayer dime, so we must take a hard look at how we pay for this travel and eliminate the likelihood of duplicate reimbursements," said Rep. Quigley. "Elected officials must be held accountable for how we spend taxpayer dollars, and I believe shining more sunlight on the reimbursement process is an important part of earning back the people's trust."
Rep. Quigley's legislation would require any House of Representatives member or employee seeking reimbursement for air travel to purchase flights using a government issued credit card and submit an itemized description of the expenses, including the specific flight number. Currently, flight numbers are not required when submitting reimbursement requests. In addition, while Rep. Quigley and many other members choose to purchase air travel on a credit card issued by the House of Representatives, it is not mandatory.
Rep. Quigley has been committed to good government reform in his two terms in Congress. He founded the bipartisan Transparency Caucus and recently released Reinventing Government: The Federal Budget Parts I and II, which establishes transparency in the budget process and offers 60 recommendations to save $2 trillion over the next 10 years. Rep. Quigley serves on the House Committees for Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform, and as the Ranking Member on the Oversight Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services, and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs.