The U.S. House last week voted to preserve spending for vehicle leases for members of Congress; a practice that a West Texas Congressman is taking advantage of.

In a story written by Jamie Dupree, with WSB Radio in Atlanta, Congressman Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock (pictured) tops the list House members spending on vehicle leases.  Neugebauer spends $1,318.97 per month on two vehicles. One lease costs $333.33 and the second $985.64.

Congressman Neugebauer explained the spending on the Monday edition of Lubbock's First News on KFYO, "One of the things members (of Congress) get is an allowance and they hire all of their people, lease all of their office space through (the fund). One of the things I do is lease vehicles so that my employees can travel throughout the (19th Congressional) district. We've looked at both ways, both reimbursing them on a mileage basis or leasing the cars. Now for a member like me, that has 29,000 miles, 29 counties, we drive our vehicles a lot of miles."

Congressman Neugebauer continued, "It is more cost effective, when we ran the numbers, for us to lease the vehicles than to reimburse for mileage."

In explaining the cost of the leases Neugebauer said, "The House administration makes us lease vehicles the length of our term, two years. We get penalized for the shorter term of the leases. The other thing too is that because of the fuel standards the House administration puts on us, we have to lease hybrid vehicles.  The hybrid vehicles are a more expensive vehicle to lease."

The vehicle which costs $985.64 per month to lease is a hybrid Chevy Tahoe according to Congressman Neugebauer.

63 members of the U.S. House use federal money for their vehicle leases, averaging $610.23 per month, per member.  Florida Congressman Richard Nugent’s amendment to ban the practice failed 221-196.

Here is a partial list of the U.S. House Member Vehicle Lease Spending (per month):

Rep. Randy Neugebauer R-TX $1,318.97
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver D-MO $999.55
Rep. G.K. Butterfield D-NC $999.50
Rep. Gregory Meeks D-NY $989.90
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher R-CA $943.87
Rep. Bobby Rush D-IL $927.97
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson D-TX $914.95
Rep. Joe Barton R-TX $884.67
Rep. John Culberson R-TX $880.00
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio R-MI $800.00
Rep. Michael Michaud D-ME $795.00
Rep. Alcee Hastings D-FL $753.28
Rep. Don Young R-AK $748.73
Rep. Gene Green D-TX $725.82
Rep. William Clay D-MO $723.26
Rep. Juan Vargas D-CA $712.09
Rep. Terri Sewell D-AL $700.05