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April 21, 2014

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Politics:

House report details reduced government spending on conferences

Nearly two years ago, stories of a pricey Government Services Administration conference in Las Vegas sparked a federal inquiry into how taxpayer dollars were being spent on federal meetings.

Now, House officials are announcing that not only has GSA conference spending gone down by 88 percent, but the government saved $219 million since fiscal 2010 on conference costs.

The report, issued by House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., focuses on federal conference spending by the GSA, Internal Revenue Service, Veterans Administration and Defense Department.

The brief report does not detail where these agencies are scheduling their conferences.

At the time of the scandal, Mica and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., traded barbs over the Transportation Committee’s pointed investigation into the Las Vegas event, with Reid telling Mica to “get a life” instead of sullying Las Vegas’ reputation and Mica accusing Reid of trying to intimidate him to stop his investigation.

Reid argued that the GSA scandal should not devolve into pillorying Las Vegas; Mica called it “just the tip of the iceberg” of a broader government-spending problem.

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