On Monday, November 17, the House passed H.R. 2061- Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act of 2013. The GSA Act of 2013 language is included in this bill.
This language is largely duplicative to OMB guidelines put in place in May 2012 to prevent unethical or exorbitant spending, but would extend the 70 percent reduction in government travel expenditures from 2016 to 2018. It is also important to note that this bill does not include the damaging Coburn language that would restrict federal agencies from attending more than one conference each year for each outside group.
Speaking on the floor, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson highlighted the government travel restrictions already in place.
“The Administration itself, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has also sought to curb these abuses by instituting new travel caps and new reporting requirements on all agency travel and I applaud them for taking this seriously.”
Bernice Johnson continued to caution about the “unintended consequences” of the travel restrictions in stifling innovation and stunting economic growth.