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Ethics Panel: Members Can’t Use Campaign Accounts to Soften Sequester Cuts

The House Ethics Committee reminded lawmakers Friday they’re forbidden to use campaign funds to pay staff salaries or other office expenses that are being cut as a result of the sequester.

“House Rule 24 does not permit offices to use campaign funds for communications purposes, such as constituent mail or official newsletters or other frankable items, or for compensation for services, furniture or equipment,” read a memo from Ethics Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and ranking member Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif.

The House Administration Committee this month informed members that the allowance each lawmaker received on Feb. 15 to cover expenses such as travel to their districts would be reduced by 8.2 percent.

The ethics memo reminded staffers who work while on furlough that they’re still subject to House limits on earned outside income and prohibitions on doing non-congressional work in House office space or using official resources. They also can’t do work that conflicts with their House duties.

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