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Old 03-20-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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Taxpayers foot bill for GOP leaders' coffee, catering

KUSA - Members of Congress and their staffs are a hungry and thirsty bunch, and taxpayers are picking up the tab for some meals and java jolts.

The Washington Guardian, a government watchdog journalism group, obtained government reports showing Congressional office spending for the last three months of 2012. It includes eye-popping numbers for Republican leaders food and drinks, at the same time they were using tough rhetoric about cutbacks and sequestration.

"House leaders spent thousands of dollars at Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Joe Ragan's Coffee Supplies, Dunkin' Donuts, PF Chang's, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Taylor Gourmet, just to name a few," Washington Guardian Reporter Sara Carter said.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) ordered $2,200 in coffee supplies during the month of November. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) office racked up the $2,500 bill for Qdoba.

Members of Congress also spend money on water for both their Capitol Hill offices and offices in their home states. For example, the seven House members from Colorado spent $1,700 combined on water over three months. If you extrapolate that number, it could cost as much as $500,000 a year to provide bottled water, water coolers or filtration services for all 435 members of the House of Representatives.

Emails seeking comment from Speaker Boehner and Majority Whip McCarthy's offices received no response.

A check of expenditure reports for Democratic U.S. House leaders showed they often used a union caterer called CapitolHost. Their overall food and beverage expenses were significantly less than their Republican counterparts. Here's a breakdown:

Rep. John Boehner - House Speaker (R) - $11,225
Rep. Kevin McCarthy Majority Whip (R) - $9,789
Rep. Nancy Pelosi - Minority Leader (D) - $3,510
Rep. Eric Cantor -Majority Leader (R) - $2,971
Rep. Steny Hoyer - Minority Whip (D) - $1,795
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