Bill would force members of Congress to fly coach

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Friday, May 16, 2014

WASHINGTON (WLS) -- Members of Congress fly across the country continually for business, but a new bill would keep them from spending taxpayer money on first-class seats.

The "If Our Military Has to Fly Coach Then So Should Congress Act" was recently introduced by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.), with his colleagues Reps. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.).

The bill is aimed at cutting "waste, fraud and abuse," according to a statemnt by Rep. Gosar.

"Members of Congress should not be using taxpayers' hard-earned money to buy luxury airline seats. If members of our military can't fly first class using taxpayer funds, neither should members of Congress," Gosar said.

Each member of Congress receives an average of $256,574 as a base allowance for travel, according to the Congressional Research Service, which would not be affected by the bill. The bill would instead prohibit members of Congress from using that allowance on first-class travel, according to ABC News.

Politicians would still be able to use their numerous frequent flier miles to upgrade their seats as well.