Democratic Hill staffers head to Maui on taxpayers’ dime for Senate Indian Affairs Committee field hearing

Senate Democrats are charging taxpayers for a trip to Hawaii, The Daily Caller has learned. The entire press staff of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is in Maui, even though a field hearing there won’t happen until next Wednesday.

The committee’s oversight field hearing, scheduled for August 17 at 9:00 a.m. at the Maui Beach Hotel, will focus on “Strengthening Self-Sufficiency: Overcoming Barriers to Economic Development in Native Communities.”

Rick Manning from Americans for Limited Government, which first discovered the hearing, told TheDC it’s unbelievable that Hill staffers talking about fiscal responsibility would waste money on a trip to Maui.

“It’s outrageous that Senate Democrats have so little respect for the American taxpayer that in the same month they buried our credit rating, they’re heading to Hawaii to celebrate,” Manning said.

A committee staffer told TheDC that the reason the hearing will be in Maui is “mostly because it’s his [committee chairman Sen. Daniel Akaka’s] home state.” It’s unclear if the field hearing will focus on any issues relating at all to Hawaii, or if the reasoning for scheduling the trip there is only because Akaka will already be in Hawaii during the congressional recess.

The staffer said Akaka is the only senator who will attend.

The Democratic committee staffers used taxpayer funding to travel to Hawaii a full week before their committee’s hearing date. When TheDC called the committee’s Washington, D.C., office Thursday afternoon, a different staffer who answered the phone said all the committee’s communications staffers are already in Maui.

It’s unclear if other committee employees, in addition to communications staff, are also in Maui.

It’s standard practice for taxpayers to cover travel expenses for congressional committee staffers, but there’s no way to know at this point how much the trip will cost, unless staffers offer up the information.

Committee staff declined to answer specific questions about why the field hearing was scheduled in Maui, nor would they say how many of their colleagues were there, on their way there, or scheduled to travel there.

They deferred all questions to the committee’s press staff, which is already, in its entirety, in Maui.

No one among the press staff in Maui has returned the TheDC’s phone calls for comment.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000142205153 Mike Nunn

    Completely shameless!!! Not just Dems but anyone that abuses their position this way!!!

  • rsee

    The hypocrisy of this administration is only superseded by it’s own arrogance.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRI3TDCO2JU5MMV7EMMAFKLYWU Caustic_Commoner

    Guess they never heard of online meetings.

    Oh yeah, online meetings are for businesses that want to reduce expenses, not government agencies that have to spend all their fiscal year’s allocation so they won’t have their budgets reduced. What was I thinking?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_67MYLGDMYTEPXPV5YWBNNJTN6I WilliamP

    either side could give two shi@*&^% about you we all need to wake up to that fact. they suck our wallets dry and in turn rub tanning oil on themselves. Nov. can’t come soom enough

  • GWilli1122

    Hawaiians are trying to get native American status to be able to bring in casinos

  • Alms1953

    It seens like regardless of how we feel they WILL do what they want.  This certainly isn’t saving funds to pay off the debt!  They are worse than spoiled children.  Except these people have no shame and they are all for themselves.  I am beginning to think NONE of them are responsible.

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  • Anonymous

    Leave them in Hawaii and terminate them all!
    Absolute waste of money borrowed from China.  Actually, Akacrap has been the king of pork forever.  Having Dems around is like living down wind from a slaughter house in August, but nothing stinks quite as much a Democrat from Illinois.

  • Rdkingsland

    Are there even ‘indians’ on the Islands of Hawaii? Yes, Indiginous folks I am sure, but ‘Indians’? We’re 16 trillion in debt now. In my company, we have all taken a pay hit by forgoing bonuses. While we get a paid vacation, we actually pay for the travel etc for those vacations.  It really is time for TERM LIMITS in Congress. 

    Entitlement society starts in Congress. They feel so entitled to the perks and privilidge, living off the not the dime, but the dollars of those who pay taxes.  This year I have paid almost 20k already in state, local and federal taxes and this IS NOT what I want my hard earned, 60-70 hours a week of work to pay for. 

    It is an outrage and the term TERM LIMITS needs to be part of the conversation in this country. Not just budget cuts, balanced budgets, but TERM LIMITS to end this entrenched Entitled class call Congress to become more accountable to the taxpayers.