Source: Rebecca Kaplan / CBS News
The Republican National Committee on Wednesday requested that the Government Accountability Office investigate President Obama’s use of government funds for campaign trips, crying foul over Obama’s trips to attend fundraisers and to rally support for student loan legislation on college campuses.
“Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as ‘official events,’ thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his reelection efforts,” says the letter from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to GAO Comptroller Gene Dodaro. “Given the recent excesses, waste, and abuse uncovered in the General Services Administration, the GAO should be particularly sensitive to misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
It’s unlikely the letter itself will lead to any official action. A GAO spokesman said the agency, which is the investigative arm of Congress, acts only on requests from lawmakers. However, Kirsten Kukowski, an RNC spokeswoman, expressed confidence that a member of Congress, presumably a Republican, would be willing to request an investigation on the party’s behalf.
The RNC letter cites presidential trips to North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa, where Obama gave speeches encouraging Congress to pass legislation that will prevent interest rates from going up on federal Stafford Loans. Those events, held in front of “cheering crowds of college students,” were “widely reported to be equivalent to campaign events,” the committee alleges.
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