Freshman Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.) has paid back taxpayers more than $1,000 after receiving reimbursements for hotel lodging and taxi rides while staying in Washington, Knight confirmed to The Hill on Friday.
House rules explicitly prohibit lawmakers from seeking reimbursements for hotels and transportation expenses while they are staying in D.C. Knight apologized for being careless with his reimbursements upon arriving in the nation's capital, vowing he wouldn’t make the same mistake again.
“My first week in office was extremely hectic, and a lot of receipts were being processed. The wrong receipts went into the wrong folder and I take full responsibility for that,” Knight said in a statement when asked about the reimbursements.
“I have already paid back the amount and have taken steps to ensure this never happens again.”
Knight said he sent a check to the U.S. Treasury for $1,036.37. That included $953.77 for hotel lodging, as well as reimbursements for four cab rides and another minor travel expense, his spokesman said.
All of the reimbursements are detailed in Knight’s public expenditure report, covering the first three months of 2015.
Lawmakers are allowed to expense flights when they travel between their districts and Washington, according to House rules. They also can submit expenses for cab rides to and from the airport when they are on official business.
But House rules prohibit members from submitting reimbursements for lodging or cab rides while they are in Washington.
Knight wasn’t the only freshman who got tripped up by his reimbursements. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) agreed earlier this month to pay back $500 for a “bookkeeping error” that charged taxpayers for two nights in a D.C. hotel, the Kennebec Journal reported.
Knight, who succeeded GOP Rep. Buck McKeon after his retirement, is a top target of House Democrats.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added him to its “One-Term Wonder” list in April after he raised less than $30,000 in the first quarter and was caught on video telling an immigration protester: “I’ll drop your ass.”
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