Tags: aaron schock | scandal | disclosure | lawmakers | expenses

House Leaders Consider Overhaul of Reimbursement Disclosures

By    |   Monday, 13 July 2015 12:34 PM

Leaders in the House are considering an overhaul of disclosure requirements for expenses in the wake of the scandal that saw former Illinois GOP Rep. Aaron Schock resign over extravagant charges for his office décor and false mileage claims, Politico reported.

The internal congressional review is currently underway but one possible change could force lawmakers to disclose more detailed information about the nature of expenses before receiving reimbursement.

One change could require that every purchase be disclosed, but changes would be even more sweeping, Politico reported.

"We're looking at making sure that policies are in place — regardless if they were in place before or not — that are going to ensure there is a more seamless process throughout the entire vouchering system," Illinois GOP Rep. Rodney Davis, who is spearheading the review along with California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, told Politico.

"If that means going back to protocols that may have been in place prior to 2010 that worked — sure — but we may go beyond that."

Lawmakers are allotted over $1 million annually to cover office expenses and staff salaries for their Washington and district offices. Reporting to the House's chief administration officer is required prior to reimbursement by the U.S. Treasury. 

Schock's resignation came after he submitted reimbursements for 170,000 miles for trips to both his campaign and congressional office despite the car having clocked just 80,000 miles at the time it was sold.

He also spent $40,000 outfitting his office in the style of "Downton Abbey," and was forced to repay the government $1,200 for using taxpayer money on a private flight to a Chicago Bears game, among other irregularities.

A federal grand jury in Illinois is currently hearing testimony about Schock's office operations with interviews of former top aides, Politico said.

Davis said he hopes to make the reimbursement process more transparent for lawmakers and the public.

"I take for granted that members know the [expenditure] process and know what the handbook says and means for expenses being submitted, because I did it for 16 years," Davis, who was a top aide to Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, told Politico. "So sometimes I have to step back and realize not everyone has the same experience."

Separate to the expected policy changes, Davis said that the panel's review could introduce clarifications and guidance for lawmakers and their aides.

Recommendations about the changes are likely to come toward the end of the year, though Davis said he is dissatisfied with the pace of the process.

"Like anything in Washington, D.C., it moves a lot slower than what I would want," Davis said, according to Politico. "I'd like to finish it as soon as possible and begin the process of offering some policy changes. But we're still in the process … of meeting with individuals and groups of individuals that can offer some good suggestions of how we can make our process better."

Candice Miller, the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, said in a statement, according to Politico, "I applaud the work being done by Reps. Davis and Lofgren, the leaders of the Committee's review group, as they continue to diligently examine current standards and procedures under the Committee's jurisdiction, and look for ways to make sure these standards are easily understood by our members."

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Politics
Leaders in the House are considering an overhaul of disclosure requirements for expenses in the wake of the scandal that saw former Illinois GOP Rep. Aaron Schock resign over extravagant charges for his office décor and false mileage claims, Politico reported.
aaron schock, scandal, disclosure, lawmakers, expenses
545
2015-34-13
Monday, 13 July 2015 12:34 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved