How your tax dollars pay for rent, printing, and travel in Washington

8:58 AM, Jun 12, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Whether it's $8,000 rent for office space, or $42,000 in printing expenses, you can track the way members of Congress are spending your tax dollars.

MORE | Congressional Spending Details

The Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives has released a report on operating expenditures in Congress for the first quarter of 2012.

11Alive spent the day pouring over more than three thousand pages of documents found in the report to see how members of the Georgia delegation have spent your tax dollars.

So far this year, the office of Rep. John Lewis tops the local delegation on overall expenditures with $449, 065 spent since January.

Lewis spokesperson Brenda Jones says most of the expenditures have gone toward staff salaries. Jones says Lewis' staff has little turnover, and the salaries are needed to keep experienced people.

Among the other expenses, Lewis' office spends more than 8-thousand dollars a month to rent office space, and has spent $42,075 so far this year on "printing and reproduction."

Jones says the printing costs are for a newsletter sent to constituents.

"People want to hear from their Congressman," said Jones. "There are people who we can't reach through social media, and the Congressman feels the newsletter is an important way to reach those who don't have internet access."

Records show Rep. Lewis' office spent nothing on mass mailings. Jones says that's because staff members delivered newsletters to senior centers in the Congressman's district.

The report shows Rep. Austin Scott tops the Georgia delegation with mass mailings so far this year, spending $80,042 to distribute 158,000 pieces of mail.

Rep. Sanford Bishop and his staff have spent the most on travel this year among the Georgia delegation with expenditures totaling $21,202.

Reports on Congressional spending can be found on the web site of the Chief Administrative Officer of the House.

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