Footing the bill for Trey Radel


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Footing the bill for Trey Radel

By Fox 4 News Staff. CREATED Oct 11, 2013

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - While the government shutdown lasts longer than expected, we're asking our southwest Florida congressman how he's covering his expenses.

The desk at Congressman Trey Radel's Cape Coral office sits empty. The US representative has spent the past 11 days in Washington trying to reach a debt deal.

Radel says he doesn't want his $174,000 salary during the shutdown. But when Fox 4 called to find out where that money's going, a representative for the US House of Representatives told us he will get his back pay when the federal government re-opens. 

So, what is Radel getting? 

He and his family are receiving government health insurance. There's enough money to keep Radel's offices open. Fox 4 saw two staffers at his Cape Coral office and spoke with another from DC by phone. And Radel still gets to come home, courtesy of taxpayers. He's traveled to southwest Florida once since October 1st.

You may also be wondering whether he's using a government-issued cell phone or credit card? He says he doesn't have either. 

At a luncheon, Fox 4 asked Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen for her take on some congressional leaders still using expense accounts. 

"I don't think it sets the best example," said Rep. Fitzenhagen (R-178). I would like them to understand the pain of all the other workers that aren't able to get their paycheck.