High flying congressman having fun on tax payer dime

Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) is the first person born in the 1980s to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The 33 year-old whipper-snapper from Peoria is also representing his generation in a true spirit of the times, traveling the world over on multiple occasions since being elected in November 2008, and visually documenting most of those trips on his Instagram account.

Since 2014, Schock has visited nine countries, and attended three national music award shows in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Nashville, Tenn.

Most recently the AP found that Mr. Schock spent over $10,000 in tax-payer money last fall to pay for private jet expenses, including a trip he made in November to a Chicago Bears game. The latest revelation comes two days after the Congressman repaid the $40,000 bill for redecorating his Congressional office which he initially charged to his public expense account. This isn’t the first time the “rising Republican star” has tried to pull a stunt like this: he successfully billed the government for a trip to Saudi Arabia in 2011.

House ethics rules aren’t making it harder for people like Aaron Schock though, as a provision taking effect in January of 2013 now allows for public funds to finance private flight expenses. Previously, only commercial flights were permitted to be taken on the public dime. The Congressman’s jet-set tastes have had an effect on his attendance record however, missing 5 percent of House votes since 2009, compared to the 2.2 percent life-time median of all current members.

Is Schlock apologetic, does he show any signs of remorse for his dishonesty? Well, last week his office announced that the Congressman was hiring “two Washington lawyers” in order to make sure “compliance procedures” were being followed. That’s as much of an apology as one can expect from a high-flier who got himself elected to the U.S. House of Representatives at the age of 27. Who can blame him? He’s enjoying life while he’s still young!

 

[AP] [Chicago Tribune] [Huffington Post] [Photo courtesy Instagram/aaronschock via Politico]