Some GOP freshmen spending big bucks on congressional offices

At least 15 GOP freshmen have shelled out tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on mass communication — or franking — designed to boost their exposure back home, even as they call for budget cuts and pared-back government spending, according to quarterly disbursement reports released by the House…

The spending habits of freshmen like Kinzinger contrast with those of other high-profile rookie members who spent nothing on congressional franking during the first quarter, including Republican Reps. Allen West and Sandy Adams of Florida, Rick Berg of North Dakota and Larry Bucshon of Indiana. Some Republican frosh have so far decided against leasing cars on the taxpayer dime as well. Many lawmakers don’t send mailings in the first quarter, insiders say.

The office spending by some of these freshmen shows that, despite their rhetoric — Republicans are talking about cutting trillions of dollars from the federal budget — some are already enjoying the perks of their congressional office budget early in their term.