Tammy Duckworth Intros Bill to Make Cabinet Secretaries’ Travel Cost Public
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced legislation on Friday that would mandate Trump administration officials publicly share their travel schedule and flight class, in an effort to curb improper government spending. The Federal Travel Transparency Act specifically nods to the Cabinet secretaries of the Interior Department (Ryan Zinke), EPA (Scott Pruitt), and Treasury Department (Steve Mnuchin), all of whom have been criticized for extravagant travel on chartered planes or in first class. “Every public servant has a responsibility to be a good steward of public dollars but it’s clear that Donald Trump and his Cabinet secretaries do not always see it that way,” said Duckworth. “When Trump Administration officials spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to charter a private or military plane or purchase a first-class ticket, they should—at the very least—be required to tell the American people who are bankrolling their luxurious travel why it is necessary. By shining a light on the travel practices of Trump Cabinet officials, this bill would protect taxpayers from the Trump Administration’s wasteful spending on needless luxury travel.” The legislation does not appear to reinvent the wheel on travel rules. And it looks to avoid establishing new bureaucracies or offices. It would simply require the government to publicly disclose, on a quarterly basis, the official air travel activities of agency leadership, including the duration, destination(s), travel party, justification, and costs of official travel on an existing website such as USASpending.gov. More here.