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Lawmakers slam GSA officials for South Pacific trips at 2nd day of hearings


WestVirginiaRebel

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WestVirginiaRebel

?test=latestnewsFox News:

Lawmakers on Tuesday accused officials with the federal General Services Administration of jet-setting around the South Pacific on the taxpayers' dime, and the lawmakers described the agency's pricey 2010 Las Vegas conference as the tip of the iceberg of wasteful spending.

On the second day of testimony, a new committee took up the scandal but still focused in large part on the actions of GSA regional commissioner Jeffrey Neely and his wife. Neely did not attend Tuesday's hearing before a House transportation subcommittee, a day after pleading the Fifth before a separate congressional panel.

Lawmakers, though, hammered Neely and the agency over several trips -- particularly a 17-day excursion that apparently took Neely and his wife to Guam, Hawaii and Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Family members often were taken along on such trips, and in an email exchange between Neely and his wife last November, they wrote of the planned trip turning into a birthday celebration.

Referring to the 17-day trip, which was to take place in February, Neely wrote his wife: "Rough schedule per our conversation. Guess this'll be your birthday present?"

She responded, "Its yo birthday....We gonna pawty like iz yo birthday!"

Committee members pointed out that Neely also visited Hawaii for nine days in October 2011 and four days last March.

"This guy set up a fiefdom," Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., said Tuesday of Neely before invoking a past corruption scandal: "Not since Jack Abramoff has anybody walked in with such swagger and ability as what it appears like that this guy was able to do."

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I'd like to see Obama try to blame the Republicans for this one...


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