A bipartisan bill would prohibit members of Congress from buying first-class flight seats with taxpayer funds.
The four sponsors of the measure, Reps. Paul GosarPaul GosarOvernight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns House panel approves Puerto Rico debt relief Overnight Defense: Dem opposition mounts to defense policy bill MORE (R-Ariz.), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), John BarrowJohn BarrowDem files Ethics complaint on Benghazi panel Barrow thanks staff in farewell speech The best and the worst of the midterms MORE (D-Ga.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.), said it would ensure lawmakers don't use taxpayer money to fly first class. They titled the bill the "If Our Military Has to Fly Coach Then so Should Congress Act."
The legislation would allow for first-class travel to accommodate disabilities or medical problems. Otherwise, official funds for travel by lawmakers or staffers would be limited to booking coach seats.
"It's not enough to give lip service to cutting wasteful spending — we should set a good example. And not spending other people's money on first class travel is a good place to start," Barrow said in the statement.
Duckworth’s legislation would allow purchases of first-class seats if the flight was at least five hours or coach-class accommodations were unavailable in urgent travel circumstances. It would also allow an exception if first-class seats would "result in an overall cost savings by avoiding additional subsistence costs, overtime, or lost productive time while awaiting coach-class accommodations."