WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on House Administration, led by Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI), Ranking Member Brady, as well as the Committee’s bipartisan review group led by Committee Members Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), voted to adopt changes to the regulations governing Member spending. These changes were the result of a seven month review of the regulations that govern expenditures from the Members’ Representational Allowance. Representatives Davis and Lofgren’s review group identified ways to strengthen the House internal expense review process, and made recommendations that continue the Institution’s work to protect the taxpayer dollar and remain transparent, accountable and responsible to the constituents each Member is here in Congress to represent. The Members said:
“Each Member is sent to Washington to represent their constituents’ views and advocate on their behalf. This requires each Member’s actions to reflect their constituents’ interests as well – not just how we vote on the House Floor, but also how we spend our official representational budgets – our MRAs. And it is this Committee’s responsibility to help provide that process of accountability,” said Miller. “The resolution we adopted today provides new controls and clarity for spending regulations where needed, and will institute more transparency in the disclosing of expenditures. I want to thank all of our Committee Members, especially Representatives Davis and Lofgren, who spearheaded the review that prompted the important reforms we adopted today.”
“Today’s meeting was an important first start to the important work we must do to continuously improve and evaluate House operations, and how we support Member offices,” said Brady. “I look forward to additional conversations about this, and applaud Chairman Miller’s leadership in moving this important resolution forward.”
“As members of Congress, we have a responsibility to our constituents to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and I believe that begins with how we spend our individual office allowances,” said Davis. “The reforms made today will create even greater transparency and accountability within a system that is already more transparent than any other branch of government. I want to thank Chairman Miller and Ranking Member Brady for the opportunity to lead this bipartisan review with Representative Lofgren and my colleagues for their support today. I look forward to not only implementing these important reforms in the coming weeks and months but building upon them so the people’s House continues to be guided by rules and regulations that instill integrity and accountability within this great institution.”
“This panel has reviewed a lot of documents, consulted with outside groups, Members of Congress and staff, and other stakeholders in formulating this resolution,” said Lofgren. “There is much merit in these changes in procedure. Most importantly, we’re continuing a commitment to greater transparency. Today is a solid start, but there remains more work to do, and I’m pleased that Chairman Miller is considering further meetings to examine these additional steps.”
This bipartisan review was led by Committee Members Representatives Rodney Davis (IL-13) and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) and included an examination of the regulations governing official expenses for each Congressional Member Office and identified opportunities for the Committee to provide enhanced education for each Member of the House. The Members began this review at the end of March 2015.
The text of the Committee Resolution adopted today can be found here.
The changes to the Members’ Congressional Handbook take effect immediately following the Committee’s Resolution passage. Additional changes to provide further transparency and responsibility will take effect at the beginning of the next legislative year.