Today, U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold (TX-27) released the following statement after the Oversight and Government Reform Committee adopted his bill, The Government Spending Accountability Act of 2013 (H.R. 313). This bill would cap federal non-military travel spending at a reasonable level, and would require a detailed report of federal conference spending. The Government Spending Accountability Act unanimously passed the committee by voice vote.
"This legislation is not about eliminating conference travel -- it's about transparency and accountability. Following the GSA conference debacle, the President's budget office issued policies to reduce costs on federal travel and conferences. Given that these same agencies are adjusting to spending reductions under the sequester -- and the federal workforce is facing the potential of furloughs -- enacting these reasonable guidelines should be a no-brainer," said Congressman Farenthold.
"The Government Spending Accountability Act is a common-sense approach to curbing unnecessary spending that will save billions of dollars. It will also shine light on wasteful expenditures taking place on taxpayer dime, ensuring that our government is answerable to the people it serves."
The Committee accepted an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 313 which would require an agency head to issue a waiver for international conferences that would exceed the attendance cap, and an amendment to establish a minimum threshold for detailed conference reporting.