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Closing Out His Tab

Ex-Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) has finished paying back approximately $23,000 to the U.S. Treasury after overspending his office allowance during the 108th Congress.

The House Office of Finance and Procurement cited Lampson in May for exceeding his $1.26 million allotment under the Members’ Representational Allowance, which is used to pay for staff salaries, travel and other official expenses.

[IMGCAP(1)]While the finance office initially billed Lampson for about $16,000 in expenses, it later revised that figure upward.

According to a Lampson campaign aide, the former lawmaker, who is seeking to unseat House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) in the 2006 election, completed paying the bill in June.

“The Congressman paid all outstanding bills out of his personal funds,” the aide said, noting that no campaign funds were used in the transaction.

Although Members who are elected to a new term may roll over debt from the previous Congress, House regulations hold former Members personally responsible for the payment of any expenses that exceed the funds available in their MRAs.

Health and the Hill. For Members and staffers whose Congressional schedules get in the way of living a healthy lifestyle, the House Administration Committee is once again holding its annual House Health and Wellness Fair on Capitol Hill this Friday.

Participants can drop by from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a variety of medical screenings including vision and hearing testings, blood pressure assessments, spinal and chiropractic exams, allergy and asthma evaluations and more.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter this week, Committee Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) also encouraged Members and their staffs to take advantage of free fitness demonstrations, nutrition discussions and massages offered by health professionals.

The fair will be held in in 2105 Rayburn and in the Rayburn foyer. For more information contact the Office of Employee Assistance at 225-2400.

— Jennifer Yachnin and John McArdle