Lawmakers can continue to fly first-class, according to The Hill, which reports that the House Rules Committee will not allow a vote on an amendment to an appropriations bill that would prohibit members of Congress from using taxpayer money to buy “luxury airfare accommodations.”
Republican Reps. Rod Blum of Iowa and Paul Gosar of Arizona, along with Florida Rep. Gwen Graham, a Democrat, filed an amendment to the annual appropriations bill for legislative branch operations — a $3.3 billion bill that includes a pay freeze on lawmakers’ salaries — that would disallow first-class air travel. But the House Rules Committee didn’t grant the amendment a vote, according to The Hill.
Blum told the publication that constituents voiced complaints about the practice during his political campaign last year.
“I heard about it numerous times on the campaign trail from citizens,” said Blum, who is serving his first term. “I think it would send a great message to working families that are hurting that we share empathy for their situation by doing this.”
In March, Gosar issued a statement about members of Congress using their “Representational Allowance,” which is funded by taxpayers, to purchase first-class airfare.
“Currently, a loophole exists that allows members of Congress to fly first-class at the expense of the American taxpayer,” he said. “When we have rules in place not allowing our military to fly first class, there is absolutely no reason members of Congress should be treated any different.