The Republican National Committee mocked guidelines issued by the Obama administration on Friday that will make agencies seek special permission to spend over $500,000 on a conference, calling the policy “wasteful.” What the RNC might not have realized is that members of their own party proposed a cap in the exact same amount.
New spending guidelines issued on Friday in the wake of the GSA scandal require top level officials to review conference spending over $100,000 and generally bans conferences that cost over $500,000.The RNC quickly criticized the guidelines, writing that “such a strict spending limit” would force the GSA to choose between either a mindreader or magician.
“With wasteful policies like this it’s not hard to figure out why Obama has run the three largest deficits in history,” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in a statement, mocking the guidelines as “capping all conferences at the low, low price of $500,000 (unless they are granted ‘special permission’).”
Ironically, $500,000 is the exact same cap contained in an amendment proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who is known as one of the biggest spending hawks in D.C. The House unanimously passed a bill which contained the same $500,000 cap that was proposed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).
Kukowski said in an email to TPM that the language in the House bill and a Senate bill “has more teeth” than the Office of Management and Budget memo.
“A bill has the force of law and can establish a hard cap,” Kukowski wrote. “An OMB memo is guidance issued to agencies and should set better targets that what they are doing. This is the same song and dance from an administration that likes to pride itself on being transparent and tough on spending when the opposite is true.”