(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) introduced the Heightened Oversight of Travel, Eating, and Lodging (HOTEL) Act with Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) – the Ranking Member of HSGAC – and a group of 32 Senators, which would immediately stop the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars at properties owned by the President, Vice President and Cabinet officials. The legislation aims to prevent potential conflicts of interest and abuse of taxpayer dollars by making clear that all three branches of government may not approve any spending, including travel expenditures, at businesses owned or controlled by the President and other high-ranking government officials.
The HOTEL Act makes it clear that taxpayer funds may not be spent at any lodging properties owned by the President, Vice President, or the head of an executive branch agency, including for lodging or dining services and room rentals. The legislation exempts spending that falls under the protective missions of the United States Secret Service and other agencies, but provides heightened oversight and transparency of these expenses by requiring any such spending to be reported to ethics officials and Congress.
“This isn’t complicated: American taxpayers work hard to pay their mortgages, put food on the table and provide for their families – their paychecks shouldn’t be used to line the pockets of the President and his advisors. It’s unethical and unacceptable,” said Senator Shaheen. “The HOTEL Act would help right this wrong and ensure taxpayers’ dollars aren’t used frivolously or irresponsibly.”
“Presidents, vice presidents, and cabinet secretaries should not profit off of American taxpayers,” said Senator Hassan. “This is a commonsense bill to help prevent wasteful government spending and corruption.”
The HOTEL Act is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).