Update travel expenditure policies to improve efficiencies, and boost accountability and transparency.

As Rep. Scanlon noted in the Committee’s November 15, 2019 hearing, Members come to Washington to serve their constituents and legislate, not to deal with administrative necessities that come with running an office. Staff, likewise, come to Washington to serve their country, engage in the public policy process and provide critical services to their office’s constituents. Members and staff alike would rather spend their time directly serving constituents than on administrative paperwork like getting reimbursed for work travel.

Both Mr. Ptasienski and Dr. Peterson identified travel expenses as an opportunity for the House to modernize administrative functions. Travel cards allow expenses to be easily tracked and monitored but cards are only given to senior House staff. Without a travel card, reimbursement for travel expenses can take hours of staff time that could otherwise be spent on constituent services.

The Committee recommends expanding the House Travel Card Program to make tracking House expenditures or expediting employee reimbursement more efficient and less time-consuming. This would have an added benefit for junior staff who may find it difficult to float travel expenses from personal resources. In response to public transportation concerns amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the Committee on House Administration allowed ridesharing services to be reimbursed for congressional staff. The Committee recommends that this program be continued, and that the House Travel Card Program be modernized to accommodate current forms of travel, such as ridesharing services.

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