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U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham wants crackdown on congressional perks

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North Florida U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham has found a Republican co-sponsor for a crackdown on congressional perks. Graham, speaking Tuesday at a Tallahassee news conference, called the perks elimination act (HR 1339) a “common sense” measure that would save millions of dollars by prohibiting members of Congress from billing taxpayers to fly first class and rent luxury cars.

 “It is common sense and I think it is what the people of our country deserve that tax dollars are used efficiently. There is no reason to be flying first class on the taxpayer’s dime,” said Graham, noting that some members rent Cadillacs costing up to $825 a month.

 Graham said U.S. Rep. Rod Blum of Iowa is co-sponsoring the measure, which she said is the first in a series of anti-perk bills she plans to introduce.

 “I don’t know anyone in North Florida with an $800 car lease and the taxpayers here certainly shouldn’t be paying for a member of Congress to have such an overpriced perk,” Graham said.

 Graham had signed an a pledge to curb abuse of congressional perks last summer at the start of her campaign to unseat Republican incumbent Steve Southerland.

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