WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Committee mocked an Obama administration plan to cap the costs of government conferences Monday, even though Republicans in Congress are pursuing the same cap.
After the General Services Administration was caught hiring mind readers and building bicycles at a lavish Las Vegas conference, calls for reform have been loud and heated. Monday, the White House Office of Management and Budget released its plan, capping such conferences at $500,000.
RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski promptly made fun of it, saying in a statement to Politico that: “At $500,000 per conference, 'Debt King' Obama is setting such a strict spending limit that next year’s GSA conference will be forced to decide: mindreader or magician, not both."
"With wasteful policies like this it’s not hard to figure out why Obama has run the three largest deficits in history," she added, snarking that President Obama was "capping all conferences at the low, low price of $500,000 (unless they are granted 'special permission')."
But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) backs the same $500,000 limit, and even got it passed as an amendment to the recent postal reform bill. In the House, Rep. Darrell Issa -- one of the administration's fiercest critics -- backed the same limit in the DATA Act passed last month.
Coburn, Issa and the RNC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
UPDATE: 6:50 p.m.
A spokesman for Coburn said his measure would be made tougher than Obama's by having a hard $500,000 cap, while the administration would allow an agency to seek a waiver to spend more.