Bill would bar lawmakers from flying first class
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced legislation to prevent members of Congress from using official funds for first-class airfare.

Reps. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarPressure builds as Pelosi, Schumer, Trump meet over border wall demands Zinke picks fight with key Dem at an odd time Overnight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Texas coal plant to shut down | Macron rejects trade deals with climate pact outsiders | Vote on park funding bills to miss deadline MORE (R-Ariz.) and Raul RuizRaul RuizOver 30 cities oppose Trump proposal on immigration benefits Congress must act to ensure access to air medical services House GOP highlights 16 ‘On the Radar’ candidates MORE (D-Calif.) said luxury air travel is "especially wasteful," while Congress has yet to eliminate the federal deficit.

"Members of Congress are public servants of the people and should not be considered a privileged status," Gosar and Ruiz said in a joint statement.


Each lawmaker is allotted funds known as a Member Representational Allowance to pay for running their offices, including staff salaries and office supplies.

The bill from Gosar and Ruiz, titled the Coach-Only Airfare for Capitol Hill (COACH) Act, would mandate that lawmakers and staffers can only fly first-class with personal funds. It would permit exceptions for first-class travel to accommodate disabilities or other medical needs.

Fourteen lawmakers have co-sponsored the legislation, several of whom will face tough reelection races next year: Reps. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.), Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.).

Rep. Gwen Graham (D-Fla.), one of the most vulnerable House Democrats in the next election cycle, introduced a similar bill earlier this year that prevents members of Congress from buying first-class plane tickets with federal funds.

Lawmakers proposing to eliminate luxuries for themselves is a regular trend. Gosar, Ruiz and others introduced an identical measure last year titled the "If Our Military Has to Fly Coach Then So Should Congress Act."