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$45 million said to be in Congress' 'slush' fund


WASHINGTON -- As the House banking controversy fades, a new scandal may be about to erupt on Capitol Hill over $45 million in unspent operating monies that congressional leaders are allegedly using as a slush fund.

Reps. John Doolittle and Frank Riggs of California, two of the seven freshman Republican House members who helped blast open the House bank scandal, planned to introduce a bill today to require outside audits of Congress' internal finances.

Details of how the money is spent are still unclear.

"You couldn't call this anything but a slush fund," said Tom Schatz, acting president of Citizens Against Government Waste, a taxpayer lobbying group, who called the fund "clearly an abuse of tax dollars on Capitol Hill that the American people deserve to know all about."

Rep. Vic Fazio, D-Calif. said the fund now totals $45 million. "There is nothing to hide here," he said.

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