Sen. Kennedy: Why are feds buying lobster, alcohol, steak, and $9k chair?

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAFB) - Senator John Kennedy, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, is demanding answers from officials on reports that federal agencies are going on “spending sprees” in the final month of the fiscal year in order to avoid future appropriation cuts.

U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) | Photo by Gray DC Bureau

A report from OpenTheBooks shows federal agencies spent $9,241 for a leather chair, $2.3 million for crab, $2.3 million for lobster tails, $308,994 for alcohol, $293,245 on steak, and $11,816 for a foosball table in the final month of the fiscal year 2018. The report also shows in the past three years, the federal government has increased how much it spends in the last month of the fiscal year by almost 40 percent.

“It’s like we gave Paul Manafort the government’s credit card and told him to spend like crazy. This is absolutely ridiculous. No one should buy a $9,000 leather chair with taxpayer money. The watchdog who uncovered this nonsense is absolutely correct. This is a spend-it-or-lose-it mentality. Agencies purposely spend whatever they have left at the end of the year so their budgets don’t get cut. It’s reckless, runaway spending,” said Kennedy.

REPORT DETAILS:

-Federal agencies spent $293,245 on ribeye, top sirloin, and flank steak
-One agency spent $9,241 for a Wexford leather club chair
-$11,816 was spent on a foosball table
-$4.6 million of government funding was spent on lobster tail and crab
-An agency spent $53,004 on China tableware
-Federal agencies spent another $308,994 on alcohol
-The federal government spent $97 billion on contracts in the last month of the fiscal year 2018. The total for contract spending for the entire fiscal year was $544.1 billion.
-85.6 percent of the final month contracts can be traced to the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State
-Purchases included games, toys, tableware, and artist’s brushes
-Furniture accounted for $490.6 million. In the last month of the fiscal year 2018, the federal government spent $643,833 on sofas and $40,379 on clocks.

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