As the brouhaha over the General Services Administration’s excessive spending continues to unfold, the real loser is not the GSA, but Sin City itself, according to two Nevada Democrats.
The GSA got in trouble when a report by the GSA Inspector General brought to light a conference in Las Vegas on which the agency spent $823,000 of taxpayer money. The conference included lavish luxuries like a clown, bicycles that were used for a team building exercise and a mind-reader.
The House oversight committee is holding a series of hearings on other instances that have since come to light of extravagant spending by the agency.
But according to former Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, who is currently seeking a return to Congress, the hearings are not an attack on the GSA, but an attack on Las Vegas.
“President Obama acted swiftly to punish those responsible for this blatant misuse of tax dollars. However, these hearings are nothing more than an attack on Las Vegas,” Titus said. “Washington Republicans should stop using Las Vegas as a punching bag to score cheap political points and start working on putting Americans back to work.”
“These hearings are nothing more than a cheap political stunt designed to embarrass Las Vegas,” echoed Nevada Assembly Commerce Committee Chair Kelvin Atkinson. “Washington Republicans are playing to the cameras and throwing Las Vegas under the bus in the process. President Obama was right to fire those who oversaw tax dollar abuse and should be commended for it, but Republicans are simply using Las Vegas as a prop to get headlines.”
The Nevada Republican Party had a different take on it.
“I think that this is not a Las Vegas issue, I mean, it’s to be expected [from] the Obama administration with the crazy spending going on in Washington,” Nevada GOP Executive Director David Gallagher told The Daily Caller.
The Committee on Transportation on Infrastructure also denied that the hearings had anything to do with the city of Las Vegas.
“This isn’t about Las Vegas – this is about an agency that wastes billions of the taxpayers’ dollars, either through events and programs like we’re talking about here, or through the mismanagement of federal real property,” emailed Communications Director Justin Halcerode. “Chairman Mica’s constituents sent him to Washington to find ways to cut waste in government spending. The Transportation Committee, which has legislative jurisdiction over GSA, has been attempting to investigate GSA’s soaring administrative costs since last year and has been continually stonewalled. The conference is just the tip of the iceberg for an agency that has been idly sitting on its assets and wasting billions.”
The Nevada Democratic Party did not respond to request for further comment.