Saturday, July 05, 2014

Accountant Conaway Drops Congressional Junkets from Annual Disclosure

The Standard Times reported:

The House Ethics Committee, in a manner so quiet as to immediately invite deserved suspicion, has scrapped a requirement that lawmakers report privately funded trips — a euphemism for “junkets” — on their annual financial reports.
San Angelo's Congressman Mike Conaway, CPA, chairs the House Ethics Committee.  Why would an accountant not want vital cost information recorded for the public to easily see?  That's what the Ethics Committee did under Conaway;s leadership.

The committee dropped the requirement that members of Congress report the cost of free trips provided by lobbyists and high dollar supporters in their annual financial disclosure.

A record-low seven percent of Americans said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress

I wasn't sure how Congress could fall any further in the eyes of the American people, but CPA Mike Conaway may have found a way.

Update 7-11-14:  Apparently Congress can be shamed as the House Ethics Committee reinstated reporting of free trips. Rep. Conaway challenged the Standard Times editorial with a stinging defense.  Conaway painted the situation as addressing duplication, with either a detailed per trip report or an annual picture of free travel that can be digested for patterns.  His committee eliminated the digestible annual picture until the public demanded it be reinstated.   

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