September 18, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) joined 34 of his colleagues in introducing the Heightened Oversight of Travel, Eating, and Lodging (HOTEL) Act, which would stop the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars at properties owned by the President, Vice President and Cabinet officials. The legislation aims to prevent potential conflicts of interest and abuse of taxpayer dollars by making clear that no branches of government may approve any spending, including travel expenditures, at businesses owned or controlled by the President and other high-ranking government officials.
“The President of the United States has a sacred responsibility to put the interests of the American people first and be prudent stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars,” said Senator King. “This legislation will remove any gray areas that create questions regarding conflicts of interest, both now and in the future. This isn’t about partisanship – it’s about ensuring that our national leaders are living up to their ethical responsibilities.”
The HOTEL Act makes it clear that taxpayer funds may not be spent at any lodging properties owned by the President, Vice President, or the head of an executive branch agency, including for lodging or dining services and room rentals. The legislation exempts spending that falls under the protective missions of the United States Secret Service and other agencies, but provides heightened oversight and transparency of these expenses by requiring any such spending to be reported to ethics officials and Congress.