TRIBUNE: When lawmakers communicate, constituents often pay


This year, House Republican Aaron Schock of Peoria penned an op-ed piece warning that the government was broke. “Washington, this is an intervention,” he began. “You spend too much and it’s hurting us all.”


Weeks later, Schock used taxpayer dollars to mail congratulatory letters — and suitable-for-framing certificates of “special congressional recognition” — to every high school graduate in his central Illinois district.


Since he was sworn in nearly three years ago, Schock has honored high school graduates this way each spring, and public records show he is alone among the 19 House members from Illinois in doing so. Schock told the Tribune that costs were “very minimal,” but he would not disclose them.


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