How are House members spending taxpayer money?


The House of Representatives released its tabulations of members’ office expenses–including personnel costs, travel, district office expenses and vehicle expenses–last Friday, and the Sunlight Foundation turned the 3,000 page PDF into a searchable database, enabling reporters and curious constituents to do easy aggregation.

Here are some snippets from the data:

— Appropriations was the highest spenders among committees, totaling more than $4.6 million in the last quarter of 2009, followed by the Oversight & Reform and Energy & Commerce committees with just over $3 million each.

— In addition to technology-related companies and suppliers such as Dell and Microsoft, the House also hired some leading government contractors such as Pitney Bowes Governement Solutions, Lockheed Martin and Deloitte — each of these companies have received close to $500,000 in the last quarter of 2009.

— House offices–including members, committees and legislative offices–spent more than $222,000 of taxpayer money on bottled water during that same time period.

The database contains records for all offices of members of Congress, legislative offices (like the House Clerks Office) and House committees and can be downloaded here.

Note that the data has not been standardized (meaning that AT&T might also appear as A.T.&T.), so aggregation on the Payee and Recip fields may not return complete totals.