In the face of sequestration, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) is calling for an end to the taxpayer-funded overseas trips for members of Congress -- commonly known as CODELS. In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Congressman Jones asked the Speaker to stop all taxpayer-funded overseas trips, except for those to visit United States military personnel in war zones like Afghanistan. The trips taken by members of Congress and their spouses frequently visit exotic locations like Paris, Rome, Switzerland, Australia, Thailand and China. Most of these trips utilize Department of Defense (DOD) aircraft and DOD and State Department personnel and resources.
"Washington has a spending problem, and it's time for President Obama and this Congress to stop the wasteful spending that is bankrupting this nation," said Congressman Jones. "Under sequestration, DOD simply cannot afford to continue these trips. It is wrong to impose cuts and furloughs at essential DOD facilities like Fleet Readiness Center East in my congressional district, but at the same time expect DOD to continue shuttling members of Congress around the world on luxury trips."
Congressman Jones has been a long-time leader in the effort to cut wasteful federal spending. He does not participate in CODELS and has introduced legislation to improve transparency on the cost to the public of these trips. Congressman Jones has also offered up many suggestions for achieving spending reductions that would save much more money than sequestration, and would avoid the impact that sequestration will have on the U.S. military. Those ideas include eliminating foreign aid, repealing Obamacare, trimming the federal workforce, cutting the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, eliminating the federal Department of Education, and leaving Afghanistan before 2014. Congressman Jones is urging House leadership to put these ideas on the table in their negotiations with President Obama and Senate leaders.