Grassley Works to Stop Abusive Spending for Government Travel Print
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 04 October 2010 15:16

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley said new information about taxpayers having to pay $8,000 for a 160-mile trip by a senior government official underscores the need to limit unnecessary government travel expenses.

“Chartered aircraft may be necessary for emergencies, but there’s no need for taxpayers to spend $8,000 for a 160-mile flight, as the Health and Human Services Secretary did when traveling from Topeka, Kansas to Omaha, Nebraska.  That would have been less than a three-hour drive,” Grassley said.  “Government officials always should avoid extravagant and unnecessary expenses at taxpayer expense.”

A Department of Health and Human Services memo, obtained by Grassley earlier this year, showed that in fiscal 2008 there was a six-percent increase in the number of federal employees traveling internationally and a nearly 14-percent increase in the cost of that travel.  More than 95 percent of the international travel was by employees of agencies that fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services.  In response to questions from Grassley about this travel, a former Health and Human Services official informed Grassley that an Assistant Secretary for the Department had severely reduced oversight of personnel travel expenses.

In addition to conducting oversight to hold federal agencies accountable and bring about reduced travel costs, Grassley voted this year to eliminate non-essential government travel.

Grassley’s February 17, 2010 letter to Secretary Sebelius about this issue is available here.

Grassley’s May 5, 2010 letter to Secretary Sebelius about this issue is available here.

Grassley’s October 4, 2010 letter to Secretary Sebelius about this issue is available here.

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