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Rev Robert Fuller

$272,894 in unpaid meal

  • U.S. senators run up $272,894 in unpaid meal tabs; some owe bills dating back three months


             U.S. Senators run up $272,894 in unpaid meal tabs

             Some owe bills dating back three months

             Many of the same U.S. Senators who were so quick to slash business meal tax deductions earlier this summer are slow on the draw when it comes to paying their own restaurant tabs.

             As a group, the 100 U.S. Senators owed more than a quarter of a million dollars in unpaid meal checks--including some $50,000 that was more than 90 days overdue-- to the Senate restaurant at the end of the government's last fiscal year, Nation's Restaurant News has learned.

              In confirming the overdue meal bills, an official at the office of the Architect of the Capitol--which oversees the Congressional restaurant operations --noted that most of the food checks are ultimately paid.

             Although a spokesman for the Capitol Architect refused to identify any of the individuals responsible for the $272,894 in unpaid meal tabs, he confirmed that they were all U.S. Senators because only members of the Senate are permitted to charge their meals at the Senate dining rooms.

             The failure of Senators to pay their meal checks promptly is particularly surprising in view of the fact that the meals are doubly subsidized: first by the taxpayers and then by low-paid Congressional staffers and Capitol visitors who patronize the Senate's public cafeterias and snack bars.

            Although Senators ostensibly pay for the ingredients and labor required to serve meals in the Senate dining room, much of the overhead expense --including management salaries, rent and utilities --is paid for from tax funds.

            Despite those operating subsidies, the Senate dining room traditionally incurs huge losses, forcing Senate restaurant officials to charge higher prices in the Capitol's public food-service outlets in order to offset the deficit on Senator's meals.

           These are the same elected officials that tell us we can not afford to help our sick and elderly in this country. One would think with a minimum salary of 155 thousand dollars a year and the million dollars a year each receives from the tax payer to run their individual offices, they could at least pay the American people for their meals.

                                                                            Just an Old Preacher's Opinion

                                                                                                Rev Robert Fuller