CAGW Names Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz July 2017 Porker of the Month | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Names Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz July 2017 Porker of the Month

Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) its July 2017 Porker of the Month for advocating for taxpayer-funded housing for members of Congress.

During an interview with The Hill on June 26, 2017, then-Rep. Chaffetz said, “I really do believe Congress would be much better served if there was a housing allowance for members of Congress.”  He admitted that the current political climate made such a proposal legislatively arduous, but claimed that, “A $2,500 housing allowance would be appropriate and a real help to have at least a decent quality of life in Washington.”

Ironically, the interview was conducted four days before Rep. Chaffetz resigned from Congress and abandoned his chairmanship of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight in order to pursue a lucrative television career.

Perhaps his time in Washington has clouded now former Rep. Chaffetz’s idea of what qualifies as a decent quality of life. For example, his annual House salary of $174,000 was nearly three times the median annual income of one of his former constituents. 

Furthermore, there are ample reasons why Congress does not deserve additional taxpayer benefits.  The national debt nearly doubled during Rep. Chaffetz’s time in Congress.  Government-wide improper payments have risen to $144 billion in FY 2016.  Congress has failed to complete its own budget process on time for 20 consecutive years, which mirrors Congress’s nearly 20-year failure to balance the budget.  A Gallup poll shows congressional job approval at an embarrassing 19 percent. 

Rep. Chaffetz is not the first congressman to propose additional taxpayer-funded benefits.  Former Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) made a similar statement on April 3, 2014, just before his retirement.

CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement: “Public service is about serving the public, not indulging one’s self on the taxpayers’ dime.  Members of Congress have shown themselves time and time again to be underserving of any pay raise, let alone additional perks beyond their free gym membership, subsidized health insurance, and substantial retirement benefits.  Instead of focusing on themselves, they should be completely focused on cutting wasteful spending, and CAGW’s give them the blueprint to do just that.”

For his thoughtless advocacy of a taxpayer-funded housing stipend, CAGW names former Rep. Jason Chaffetz its July 2017 Porker of the Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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