Senators Introduce Bill To Save Taxpayers Money On Federal Employee Travel Expenses

WASHINGTON — Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Modernizing Government Travel Act Thursday. This bill would direct the General Services Administration to make it easier for government employees to save taxpayers money by using innovative modes of travel while on official government business.

“This legislation helps drive federal agencies into the modern era,” said Sen. Johnson. “All across the country, people are using car services such as Uber and Lyft to get where they need to go conveniently and affordably.  Many Americans are even supplementing their current income by driving for these companies.  I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation, which will provide an option for federal employees to take Uber or Lyft when they’re on official business, saving taxpayer money.”

“Services like Lyft and Uber have improved the ways that millions of Americans get around, but, until recently, the federal government hasn’t been able to take advantage of these newer, sometimes more cost-effective options,” said Sen. Carper. “This legislation will help our government keep pace with the innovative technologies that drive our lives.  By modernizing the way that federal employees travel, this commonsense and bipartisan bill will make the operations of government more efficient, while also ensuring that we are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

“Millions of Americans have saved themselves time and money by using new innovative travel services such as Uber, Lyft, and bikeshare,” Sen. Lee said, “but current federal travel reimbursement regulations have made it difficult for federal employees to use these new technologies while on the job. This bill would require the GSA to clarify the availability of these options so our federal employees can increase efficiency and decrease costs.”

“It makes sense for government employees to use the same services as everyday people and it will save the taxpayers dollars,” said Dr. Cassidy.

“I am pleased to join Senator Lee and Senator Carper to introduce common sense legislation that ensures the federal government updates its policies to keep pace with innovation and better reflect how people travel today,” said Sen. Booker. “Government employees should be able to take advantage of cost-effective ridesharing services and save taxpayer dollars.”

The Modernizing Government Travel Act can be found here.