To start out the 112th Congress, Rep. Steve Scalise introduced H.R. 61, the Coach Act of 2011. If passed, the Coach Act would prohibit federal government employees from being reimbursed for anything more than the coach class value of their airplane travel when they travel on official business, except in the case of necessity, such as for high-security situations or travel for disabled employees.
H.R. 61 strikes me as a reasonable way to cut some government cost without cutting back government services and without putting anybody in a situation of more discomfort than the average American citizen who travels by air must bear. The 8 cosponsors of Rep. Scalise’s bill in the House of Representatives are:
But curiously, the following 10 members of Congress had signed on as initial cosponsors of the Coach Act in January 2011, but withdrew en masse a week and a half later:
Cynthia Lummis [WY-at large]
Jeff Duncan [SC-3]
Tom Graves [GA-9]
Brian Bilbray [CA-50]
Patrick McHenry [NC-10]
Tom Cole [OK-4]
John Kline [MN-2]
Bob Gibbs [OH-18]
Doug Lamborn [CO-5]
Trent Franks [AZ-2]
There has been no communication from these Republicans to explain why they withdrew their support from this bill.
Notably, there has been no communication from any Democrats in the House to explain why they haven’t supported the measure in the first place.