Congress Passes New Travel Restrictions

 - August 16, 2007, 11:59 AM

As part of what they called their duty to the American people, Congressional democrats were able to pass S.1, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, before they went on recess last week. The bill calls for increased disclosure on the lobbying process and, more important, a provision restricting the use of private aircraft for senators and representatives. If signed by the President, the bill will require all senators to reimburse the owner of a private aircraft the market value of the charter rate, as opposed to the previously required first-class airline ticket. Representatives are prohibited from flying on private aircraft and therefore can use only the airlines or charter aircraft. Both sides are authorized to use personally owned aircraft. The National Air Transportation Association urged members who routinely engage in such operations to “be cautious when arranging air travel for elected officials.”