Last week, Moonlight Foundation published a database detailing the spending of U.S. Congressional offices, creating an opportunity to place members and their spending in greater context.
In looking through abnormalities in the data, Moonlight Foundation uncovered that Paul Gosar is third highest spending Republican in Congress although he has spent his career railing against “waste and inefficiency” in the federal government.
In the first three quarters of 2021, Gosar’s travel expenses were the second most in Congress, according to a review of a congressional travel disbursements. Gosar’s travel expenses were second only to the representative from Guam. Since becoming a congressman, Gosar’s travel expenses have been among the highest of Arizona, but he has defended his expenses by claiming he was always in his district.
Some of the travel expenses were extraordinary, though one example shows his office spent more than $1000 on a one-day car rental, which appears to be a cost reserved exclusively for extremely luxurious cars.
Notable — and astoundingly high — expenses can be found below:
On February 28, 2021, Rep. Paul Gosar’s office spent 1,007.34 for what appears to be a single day car rental. This is the weekend Rep. Gosar was in Orlando for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a conservative conference in Orlando, Florida.
On January 7, 2021, the day after the January 6 riots, Rep. Paul Gosar’s office spent $1,787.20 on commercial transportation.
Between July 13, 2021 and July 15, 2021, a staffer spent $1,916.80 on commercial transportation.
On August 20, 2021, a staffer spent $848.40 on commercial transportation.
Between April 28, 2021 and April 30, 2021, a staffer spent $1,102.90 on commercial transportation.
Between April 28, 2021 and April 30, 2021, Rep. Paul Gosar’s office spent $1,208.20 on commercial transportation.
As evidenced above, disclosures surrounding how Congressional offices spends taxpayer money lacks a great deal of transparency. For instance, there’s no way of verifying where transactions take place, which leaves some questions unanswered. As a result, there is no way to verify if Rep. Gosar’s office used Congressional funds during the weekend of CPAC.