Mia Love Used Taxpayer Money to Attend ‘Nerd Prom’ [Updated]

[This story has been updated with a statement from Rep. Love]

Rep. Mia Love used $1,160 in taxpayer money to pay for her flight to and from Washington, D.C. to attend the White House Correspondent's Dinner, which is billed as the biggest social gathering of the year in the nation's capital.

The Hill reports Love got reimbursement for a flight to and from Salt Lake City for the event, which she and her husband attended, as well as money for what was deemed on expense reports as "parking/taxis/tolls."

Love and her husband flew to Washington on Saturday, April 25. They returned to Salt Lake City a day later on Sunday, April 26. Love did not seek reimbursement for her husband's travel from her congressional account.

Expense reports show Love flew out of Washington on Thursday ahead of the event.

House rules state that members are not allowed to use their congressional allowance “to pay for any expenses related to activities or events that are primarily social in nature.” Lawmakers are allowed to be reimbursed for flights to and from their districts so they can attend votes and carry out other official business at the Capitol.

While the WHCA dinner does raise money for journalism scholarships, the event — dubbed “Nerd Prom” — has been regarded as D.C.’s biggest social gathering of the year, replete with more than a dozen pre-parties and after-parties.

Love and her husband attended the dinner, and she dropped by at least one after party, the annual Allbritton Sunday brunch, according to a tweeted photo and news stories from the weekend.


[UPDATE: 9:31 pm, 9/03/2015]

Rep. Love's office sent us the following statement via email:

"A staff member booked the flights Rep. Love took between Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. on April 25-26.  They were paid for from the official office account. The trip included time for official business in the office as well as for the correspondents dinner that weekend. 

"Rep. Love  takes the use of taxpayer money very seriously, and in order to ensure there is never a question about the proper use of funds, Rep. Love will reimburse the government for those flights."