GOP senator wants to crack down on government credit cards

A Republican senator is re-introducing legislation to crack down on the use of government-issued credit cards by federal workers.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he has discovered government employees using their credit cards to pay for jewelry and cruises, or to use on gambling and at strip clubs.

His legislation would limit and regulate the use of credit cards by federal employees, and responds to “outrageous accounts of purchases” made with government charge cards.

Grassley’s bill would require agencies to perform credit checks on federal employees who wish to hold cards, maintain a record of each cardholder, and implement reviews to determine if cardholders actually need a card.

In addition, the bill would ensure cards are terminated once an employee leaves an agency and would provide a mechanism for disputing unauthorized charges.

“This bill is about accountability,” Grassley said in a statement. “The public trust has been violated by abusive use of government charge cards. The federal bureaucracy needs to improve the way it manages the use of these cards.”

The Senate approved a similar bill sponsored by Grassley in 2009, but it was never taken up by the House.

It is unclear if Grassley's bill will hit the floor. The legislation was referred to the committee on Homeland Security and Government affairs.

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