Freshman Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) has traded in a supposedly inhospitable district office he inherited from his predecessor for new, constituent-friendly digs.
HOH picked up on the real estate swap after noticing that Yoder reported spending around $22,000 on “habitation expenses” in the latest Congressional disbursement filings. Turns out the sizable investment facilitated the creation of an entirely new district office in Overland Park, a nice little suburb of Kansas City.
Yoder staff explained that retiring Rep. Dennis Moore (D) had maintained three district offices, including one located within a federal courthouse in Kansas City. That meant constituents had to contend with parking difficulties and security screenings just to visit their Congressman.
Yoder decided to uproot the operation, moving to a well-known but vacant retail spot that has since been refurbished. “We get a constant flow of people in and out of there,” a Yoder aide said of the new office, which formally opened in April. “It’s just night and day compared to where we were.”
A review of Congressional records confirms Moore had been shelling out roughly $5,200 per month in rent for his three offices. Yoder’s consolidation to a single office helped him trim rental fees to $3,800 per month. By our calculations, taxpayers should recoup the full value of the relocation by July.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.