Barr Reacts To Critical Spending Report

Jul 18, 2014

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr is responding to a Herald-Leader report highlighting his office's spending on communications.

The paper found the freshmen congressman spending more on taxpayer-funded communications than 411 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives during his first 15 months in office.

Now, Barr is responding with a Letter to the Editor.

Though he doesn’t challenge the paper’s numbers when it comes to mailers or telephone town hall meetings, Barr does lay out a series of measures he’s taken to save taxpayer money.

In the letter, he argues that he’s spent $300,000 less on personnel than his predecessor, returned $50,000 of his office budget to the Treasury, and paid $20,000 less in district office rent – all while delivering greater service and outreach to constituents.

The Herald-Leader hasn’t been the only one focusing on spending in Barr’s office. His Democratic challenger, Elisabeth Jensen, is hoping to make it in issue in the campaign.

At an event this week, Jensen signed a pledge, promising not to send campaign-style mailers on the taxpayer’s dime. She also pledged, if elected, to purchase her health insurance through the state exchange and to help end taxpayer funding for First Class airfare for members of Congress.

While the Barr did vote against a Democratic budget substitute that would have banned the airfare perk, Barr counters in his letter that he does not fly First Class and brought his own healthcare to Washington.