- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2013

Have you thanked your taxpayer today? Maybe that should be the sign hanging above coffee machines in Capitol Hill offices. Lawmakers are spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on coffee, snacks and catered food services, USA Today reports.

House Speaker John Boehner, for instance, spent $2,200 of taxpayer dollars on coffee supplies in 2012 — in just November, a USA Today video segment reports.

Other house leaders spent thousands of tax dollars for various purchases such as Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Dunkin’ Donuts, to name a few, the USA Today report finds. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy spent $2,500 for Mexican food catering, in just one day.

Meanwhile, bottled water costs for lawmakers are soaring. Just seven members of the House spent a combined $1,700 of taxpayer funds on water supplies during the last few months of 2012, USA Today says.

“If you do the math, at that rate it would cost half a million per year just to provide water just for the offices of the House of Representatives,” the USA Today reporter said.

The findings come at a time of tight fiscal realities and sequester mandates that say lawmakers must trim back office expenses by at least 8 percent.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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