Landrieu to Reimburse Senate for Charter Flight

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.) / AP

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.) has decided to reimburse the Senate for a charter flight paid for with taxpayer money that was used for a fundraising trip, according to CNN.

Landrieu will reimburse the Senate more than $5,700 for a charter flight she paid for with taxpayer money after CNN questioned the expense.

The Louisiana Democrat chartered a private plane last September to travel from New Orleans to Shreveport, where she attended an official event. She then traveled on to Dallas, where she attended a fundraiser.

Under federal law and Senate rules, the cost of a trip that includes official and campaign stops must often be prorated between Senate and campaign accounts. However, if the campaign activity is "incidental" to the official trip, the expense doesn't need to be split up. In this case, Landrieu's Senate office picked up the whole cost of the trip.

The campaign, however, refused to concede that using public funds for the flight was improper, saying instead that the decision to pay for the entire flight was made "out of an abundance of caution."

"Out of an abundance of caution in case there was a cost allocation error connected to this flight, the Senate will be reimbursed for the (Shreveport to Dallas) flight," said spokesman Matthew Lehner.

Landrieu was criticized for using $47,000 of taxpayer funds on charter flights to fly around Lousiana in 2013 alone.