by Max Brantley
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, another Republican committed to lean government and killing universal Medicare and other wasteful stuff, gets an unwanted hat tip today in a report on how some members of Congress have continued to engage in high-dollar travel despite a push to cut back on junketing expenses.
But once Republicans seized control of the House, even some of the new GOP freshmen—who rose to power on a platform of federal frugality that made them darlings of the Tea Party movement—got in on the travel action.
Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and Steve Womack of Arkansas both campaigned last year on the idea that the federal government is wasteful, and they’ve voted to cut spending. In February, Womack took aim at wasteful spending, saying, “While the rest of the nation has had to tighten their financial belts, the government has loosened theirs. If America’s people must live within their means, shouldn’t its leaders do the same? The answer is yes.” Yet they both went to the Gulf Coast in May courtesy of the taxpayers. Neither man’s office would comment.
In Womack's defense, a jaunt to the Gulf is small potatoes compared with others' trips to Turkey, Vienna and the like.