M.R.A…every Rep. in Congress gets it

Did you ever hear of the Members Representational Allowance (MRA) funds?  We received notification that our Congressional Representatives receive $4 million per year to operate their offices, and anything they do not spend they get to keep.  We set out to determine if that, in fact, is true.

False image

 

Our research has shown that statement to be absolutely false.

 

Here is an extensive study done on the MRA done by the Congressional Research Service and last updated on September 3, 2019.

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40962.pdf

Here is an excerpt from the report:

“Members of the House of Representatives have one consolidated allowance, the Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA), with which to operate their offices. The MRA was first authorized in 1996 and was made subject to regulations and adjustments of the Committee on House Administration. Representatives have a high degree of flexibility to use the MRA to operate their offices in a way that supports their congressional duties and responsibilities, and individual office spending may be as varied as the districts Members represent.”

There are restrictions on how the funds are to be used.  They may not be spent on campaign or personal expenditures.   Here is a link to the Congressional Ethics Commission that discusses MRA.

https://ethics.house.gov/official-allowances/members-representational-allowance

How much is given to each Congressional District?

For FY 2019 the total was $573,630,000 or ~$1,318,690 average per Representative.
For FY 2020 the total will be $615,000,000 or ~$1,412,793 average per Representative

So how has our Congressional Representative, Dave Joyce, fared with his MRA funds?

thumbs up

We wrote an article about Congressional spending of the MRA funds and we are happy to report that Representative Joyce got a big thumbs up.

https://lobbyistsforcitizens.com/2019/12/02/shining-the-light-on-congress/

We contacted Representative Joyce’s Mentor office about the MRA funds and received the following letters from his office.
Dave Joyce 1-13-20

Dave Joyce 12-30-19 letter re MRA funds

Representative Joyce stated that he has returned more than $800,000 from his Congressional budget to the U.S. Treasury since 2013, in compliance with the rules governing the MRA.

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LFC applauds Representative Joyce for being a good steward of taxpayers’ funds.  We may not agree with his voting record, but we must give credit when credit is due.

 

 

 



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  40. No one should be surprised that Congressman Joyce has not spent all his allowance – after all, a Member is responsible for personally paying for any expenses that are in excess of the authorized MRA level or that are not reimbursable under regulations of the Committee on House Administration.
    Would you go over budget if it came out of your own pocket ? Sorta explains why they keep increasing their budgets.

    Gotta ask why Congressman Joyce has not sponsored H.R.1085 Give it Back to the Taxpayers Act or H.R.1790 Giveback Deficit Reduction Act.?

  41. Oh, I should have mentioned another factor in why this is comical … A Member is responsible for personally paying for any expenses that are in excess of the authorized MRA level or that are not reimbursable under regulations of the Committee on House Administration … sorta explains why no one every goes over their budget.

    Gotta ask why Congressman Joyce has not sponsored H.R.1085 Give it Back to the Taxpayers Act or H.R.1790 Giveback Deficit Reduction Act.

  42. Thank you for your insight in this matter. We agree.

  43. In 2018, Congressman Joyce spent $1,059,020.35 and the 2019 final reports will not be issued for months. Yes, Congressman Joyce did not spend it all …historically, NO Members spends their full MRA but he did spend roughly 80% of the allotted amount while other Members spent only 70%.
    The real question is … did OH14 constituents get good value on their $1,059,020.35 spending … and was 2019 more or less than $1,059,020.35 ?
    And another question, if Congressman Joyce had lost his election, would his replacement have spent significantly more … or even less ?
    Further, let’s remember that the House sets their own budget … so they can increase it to make it seem like they are saving money when no one is spending at those levels … also, the House under GOP control, increased authorizations in FY2017 by 3.9% and another 1% last term.
    I am filing Congressman Joyce’s press release under Self-promotion.

  44. In 2018, Congressman Joyce spent $1,059,020.35 and the 2019 final reports will not be issued for months. Yes, Congressman Joyce did not spend it all … historically, no Member does spend the full authorization yet he did spend roughly 80% of the allotted amount while other Members spent only 70%.
    The real question is … did OH14 constituents get good value on their $1,059,020.35 spending … and was 2019 more or less than $1,059,020.35 ? And another question, if Congressman Joyce had lost his election, would his replacement have spent significantly more … or even less ?
    Yet, ya gotta remember that Congress sets their own budget … if they keep increasing their budget (3.9% in FY2017 and 1% in FY2019), this just makes for more self-praising press releases.

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