Iowa lawmakers weigh in on federal officials flying first class

While visiting Sigourney Thursday, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley gave his thoughts on federal officials flying first class on the taxpayerâ??s dime.

The republican said when he travels he always flies coach on commercial flights and there are rare instances where he will fly first class, usually as an upgrade due to the hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles heâ??s racked up.

Grassley also noted he will always give up a first class seat up to members of the military.

He says luxury plane seats are not efficient for the federal budget.

â??As far as congress is concerned, the rules are very clear you will not get reimbursed for first class unless it's the only seat available on that flight and we always make our reservations plenty early, so we're never in that situation,â?? said Grassley.

As far as top federal officials flying first class... Grassley says failure to track costs and justifications is unacceptable.

He told the Washington Post secrecy of personal trips taken at taxpayer expense only creates a distrust of the federal government.

U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack also made a stop to the Heartland Thursday as he visited the new Market on Main in Ottumwa.

Loebsack told KTVO it's a responsibility for all lawmakers to be conservative when it comes to travel costs and that he always flies coach.

â??I think it's important to do that. Clearly there are times where you have so many miles they will try to upgrade you to first class, but coach is the way I go. Taxpayers pay for my flights, so i think that's the way we ought to go,â?? said Loebsack.