House Committee Passes Modified Government Travel Language

Courtesy of ASAE’s Public Policy Department

Thanks to all of your efforts, the House Committee has passed modified government travel language. 

In the wake of the GSA scandal, we have been encouraging you as citizens employed in the hospitality/travel industry to contact your congressional representatives concerning proposed legislation that will harm our industry. On June 27, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a bill by voice vote that caps federal spending on travel and conferences but does not include most of the more onerous restrictions passed by the House in April as part of the DATA Act.

The “Government Spending Accountability and Transparency Act” was introduced by Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and caps federal spending on travel at 70 percent of fiscal year 2010 levels. The bill (H.R. 4631) also requires detailed itemized reports of federal conference spending, but does not limit federal agencies to one conference per organization annually and is not nearly as restrictive when it comes to government employees attending meetings held by associations and other private sector organizations. Although travel budgets would be cut, the bill allows private entities to pay or defray the costs for government employees to attend a meeting.

Walsh introduced the bill in response to a General Services Administration (GSA) employee training conference in Las Vegas that cost taxpayers more than $800,000.

ASAE, ITS and other industry supporters also continue to meet with Senate offices to educate them about the value of face-to-face meetings and collaboration between the government and the private sector.

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