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H.R. 4289 (112th): Transparency and Accountability in Congressional Travel Act of 2012

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

3/28/2012--Introduced. Transparency and Accountability in Congressional Travel Act of 2012 - Prohibits a Member of Congress or congressional employee from undertaking any official foreign travel unless, within 14 days before and within 14 days after such travel, the individual prepares and submits to the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate, as appropriate, a specified statement (in both paper and electronic form) containing travel-related information.

Allows the Member or congressional employee to exclude classified information from such statements, so long as the Member includes documentation in support of such exclusion.

Requires the Secretary of Defense (DOD) or the Secretary of State, as appropriate, for official travel by a Member or congressional employee for which any of the costs are to be paid by their respective departmental funds, to give such individual, within 10 days after completion of such travel, a written statement specifying: (1) the cost incurred, itemized by the cost of transportation, lodging, and meals; and (2) whether the aircraft used was chartered, private, military, or, in the case of commercial aircraft, whether the seating was coach, business class, or first class.

Requires the Clerk and the Secretary to post such statements on their respective official public Internet sites.

Prohibits a vacation stopover for annual leave at any point during official foreign travel.

Specifies restrictions on official foreign travel by Member and House committee employees, except travel to a military installation or to a theater of operations of the Armed Forces.

Requires each Member and congressional employee who undertakes official foreign travel to: (1) take necessary actions to reduce travel costs, and (2) return any per diem remaining unexpended at conclusion of the travel.