Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

Michigan GOP Congressman Tops Reimbursement Charts 

06/07/24 02:55 PM By Team MIRS

(Source: MIRS.news, Published 06/06/2024) U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) was the top spender in a reimbursement program for D.C. lawmakers that began last year and is paid for by tax dollars, a Washington Post analysis shows. Bergman was reimbursed over $32,000 for lodging and nearly $12,000 for meals in 2023. In total, lawmakers were reimbursed $5.8 million in 2023.  

Bergman’s opponent, Callie Barr, said in a press release that Bergman has been a strong critic of how taxpayer dollars are spent, but “apparently, it’s do what I say, not what I do. 

“He talks a big game about being fiscally responsible; removing him from office, then, is an obvious step in the right direction,” Barr said. 

Members can expense $79 in meals and incidentals per day in Washington, and the limit is lower for a travel day that included some work in D.C. To be clear, principal or interest on their mortgage cannot be expensed, but rental costs can be, as well as utilities and insurance on rented or owned properties. Depending on the month, the daily rate is capped between $172 and $258. 

Politico reported that the expenses they are eligible to be reimbursed for would initially be taken out of office accounts that fund their official travel and staff salaries, meaning they have to balance payments that can be reimbursed with everyday expenses. 

“Nearly every member of Congress has used this new reimbursement process - and combined over the two-year Congress, the General will likely be somewhere about middle of the road in total. Unless the General and Cindy are supposed to sleep on a cot in his office, having a place to stay in DC is important and costly. The General has likely spent hundreds of thousands of dollars out of his pocket in costs to rent a house there, have a car there, etc. There’s a reason members from all sides and factions - from Matt Gaetz to Eric Swalwell - utilize the program,” said Bergman’s Communications Director James Hogge to MIRS