U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., was the fifth lowest spender among all members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 when it came to his office budget, according to an analysis reported recently by USA Today, which used data compiled by the Sunlight Foundation.
For 2011, Pastor also was the most frugal member of Arizona's congressional delegation and the thriftiest Democrat in Congress.
Pastor, who makes it a norm to return some of his office budget to the U.S. Treasury, is often noted as one of the most frugal members of Congress. In 2004, he was the third lowest spender, and in 2005, he was noted as the fifth lowest spender, according to the National Taxpayers Union.
"All taxpayers want government to control spending and to use their money wisely," Pastor said. "I've always taken a frugal approach to spending at home and at work. And that's become more important these past few years when everyone is having to tighten their belt."
A review of the office budgets for members of Congress, also called Members' Representational Allowance (MRA), showed that Pastor spent 69.4 percent of his MRA, according to USA Today. The MRA covers all office operations including rent, salaries and member travel. Of his 2011 budget of $1,445,393, Pastor spent $1,003,032.
The rest of Arizona's delegation spent between 79.4 percent to 94.3 percent of their budgets in 2011.