The Next Check Bouncing Scandal?
At least 10 House members are spending more than $1,000 a month in taxpayer money to lease cars.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver appears to be the biggest spender.
In the last quarter of 2009, the Missouri Democrat doled out $2,900 a month to lease a WiFi-equipped, handicap-accessible mobile office that runs on used cooking oil.
“Rather than paying for an additional office, the congressman has a mobile office, with all the capabilities to do casework across the district,” Cleaver spokesman Danny Rotert wrote in an e-mail. “We can go where our constituents are and accommodate those in wheelchairs with the mobile office’s lift.” . . .
But at least nine other members are paying more than $1,000 a month for more basic rides. . . .
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) -- $1,628 to lease a GMC Yukon
Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) -- $1,230 per month
Pedro Pierluisi, the Democrat who represents Puerto Rico, spends $1,400 each month on his hybrid GMC Yukon
Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.) -- spends $1,279 in taxpayer money on his vehicle, a 2009 Chevy Malibu
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) spent $1,259 per month last quarter for a hybrid Toyota Highlander
Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who represents St. Louis, spends $1,059 a month on a hybrid Ford SUV
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) spends $1,026 each month on a hybrid Mercury Mariner
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) spends $1,143 each month
Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) leases a hybrid Ford SUV for $1,108 a month
Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) pays $998 a month for his Lexus.
Some lawmakers spend far less on leases. Indiana Rep. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, spends $450 each month. And Rep. David Drier (R-Calif.) spends $366 a month. . . .