Uh-oh! It looks like our favorite non-gay Republican politician Rep. Aaron Schock may have some explaining to do. Again.
New allegations have surfaced saying 33-year-old Schock broke House rules when he failed to disclose that he accepted money from an outside group to cover the cost of brining a male “companion” on an exotic all-expenses-paid trip to India.
Schock traveled to India on official business to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August of last year. According to a spokesman for the Global Poverty Project, an international advocacy organization working to end world poverty, the organization foot the $10,000 bill, $4,000 of which went towards Schock’s personal photographer and videographer, Jonathon Link, who documented the trip for Schock’s Instagram account.
And here’s where things got a little tricky.
House rules permit a member to accept private money for a companion’s travel expenses only if that person is a staffer or immediate family member. At the time of the trip, Link was neither of those. He wasn’t put on Schock’s official or campaign payroll until a month after the trip.
House rules also dictate that a member must obtain a waiver from the Ethics Committee to bring someone other than a staffer or family member on an official trip. Otherwise, they have to pay for the companion’s travel expenses out of pocket. Schock never told anyone that he brought Link along on the trip, trying to keep the entire thing on the DL.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Schock has been accused of mishandling money. Earlier this year, he was accused of misreporting a private flight as a “software expense” and of using taxpayer money to take his staff on getaway to New York City, as well as fly himself on a private jet to a football game in Chicago.
Oh, and let’s not forget that whole incident where he spent $40,000 of taxpayer dough to redecorate his D.C. office to look like the set of “Downton Abbey.”
A spokesman for Schock declined to comment about the trip to India, but noted the congressman “took the proactive step” of hiring attorneys at a fancy D.C. law firm to help navigate the situation.