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Public Statements

Regarding the Behavior of General Services Administration Employees

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to strongly condemn reckless spending by a group of employees from GSA, the General Services Administration, whose actions are now the subject of multiple hearings in both the House and Senate.

The misuse of taxpayer dollars by these GSA employees is truly deplorable. And it comes at a time when families in Nevada and across our Nation are tightening their belts. The lesson from this outrageous incident is clear: government must spend every penny in ways that serve the American people's interests, not the interests of those entrusted with overseeing the use of these taxpayer resources.

President Obama has acted swiftly in demanding accountability from top GSA officials who failed in their leadership roles and I commend his response to the reckless GSA spending that has been revealed.

Unfortunately, some of the comments that have been made surrounding the GSA scandal are meant to create the impression that Las Vegas itself is part of the problem.

I want to make one thing clear to those looking to use these events as an opportunity to bash Las Vegas or to point fingers in our direction--Las Vegas is not to blame.

Mr. Speaker, it's not where GSA went, it's what GSA spent.

And the issue is not Las Vegas, it's the actions of certain GSA employees who must be held accountable for their stunning lack of good judgment, blatant disregard for cost and for thumbing their noses at the rules.
There is no better destination on Planet Earth for meetings, conferences, or conventions than my hometown. No city does it better than Las Vegas.

And the problem is not the men and women in my community who work in the tourism industry and who provide hospitality to tens of millions of visitors from around the globe each year. These moms and dads bring home paychecks from an industry that is vital to the economy of Las Vegas--the community I represent--and to cities all across Nevada.

So, while I join my colleagues in calling for a thorough investigation into this incident, I hope the focus will remain on the actions of GSA employees and their behavior, and not on the location where these misdeeds took place.

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