U.S. Representative Steve Pearce is facing charges of hypocrisy after it was revealed that he voted for $39 billion in cuts from the federal food stamp program, while spending over $1,000 in taxpayer money on meals for himself.
Based on records from the Chief Administrative Office of the House, Progress Now New Mexico — a liberal advocacy group that claims to be the largest network of progressives in the state — charges that Rep. Pearce has used taxpayer-funded office accounts more than 30 times to pay for over $1,000 in meals in the past year, and is launching a campaign to pressure the congressman to reimburse his constituents for the charges.
Considering that Pearce has been a vocal supporter of the House of Representatives’ controversial food stamp cuts — and recently told federal workers at risk of losing their jobs over the sequester to “Get yourselves efficient” and “Tighten your own belt and you’ll find yourself a winner as these cuts happen” — Progress Now New Mexico executive director Patrick Davis says that the congressman’s actions are the height of hypocrisy.
“Even though he voted to slash SNAP help for tens of thousands of families who are actually poor and actually hungry, Congressman Steve Pearce – one of the richest millionaires in Congress – is gaily spending taxpayer dollars to fund his own personal supplemental nutritional assistance program, otherwise known as lunch,” Davis said in a statement.
“The message to taxpayers from Congressman Pearce seems to be: Pay your taxes, it’s almost lunchtime and I’m hungry,” he added.
This is not the first time that Pearce — who is worth between $7,483,015 and $33,245,000 according to his most recent financial disclosure — has been accused of wasting taxpayer money. In November, 2012, the congressman spent $19,525 in taxpayer money on a flight to Egypt; the Albuquerque Journal later conducted a search for flights from Hobbs, New Mexico to Cairo less two weeks after Pearce’s flight, and found tickets starting at just $2,477.
Representative Pearce’s office did not respond to The National Memo’s request for a response to Progress Now New Mexico’s campaign.