Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Congress Bought Itself With Your $1 Billion

Congress requires a lot of stuff to keep itself running. Like coffee. And plane tickets. And student loan payments.

That's the point underscored (and underscored again) by figures collated by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit that uses technology to try to make government more transparent. In early June the organization released its latest massive data dump on the expenditures that House representatives make from their Members Representational Allowances, or MRAs. Separate from campaign accounts, which have to be filled through fundraising, these sums -- ranging from $1.3 million to $1.9 million in most cases -- come from taxpayers' dollars and are meant to cover a lawmaker's operating, rather than political, expenses. Paying for an attack ad with your MRA is a no-no, for instance. READ MORE...

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