"Absolutely, these disbursements are used for the constituents. The office has never overspent its budget and all resources are for the betterment of the constituents -- being able to address their needs, provide information and access, etc. We try to utilize every cent for the best representation of the constituency. We understand that we are not alone in trying to effectively manage a budget to provide as much as we can for the district.
"The office spends approximately 10 percent of the budget to give the constituents local access to me and the staff. The office has five district offices -- the cost is approx $134k just to have them open -- rent, utilities and phones. That doesn't include staff salaries, office supplies, equipment and furniture. Other members in the Houston area average three district offices. In addition, only one other member has an office in a GSA building. The rent in the GSA building is non-negotiable and is set by the federal government and is not free and is usually high. This building is in the 18th Congressional District and has been the location of the 18th District office for decades when the seat was held by previous congress persons.
"Sixty percent of the budget is spent on staffs who work on serving the constituency and on the legislative process to serve the diverse constituency for the good of the 18th Congressional District.
"Twelve percent is spent on travel -- mine back and forth from Houston to DC so when the legislative business is over, I can get back to the district with the people I represent, as well as staff who are traveling throughout the district assisting constituents, and those traveling from DC to further the legislative agenda.
"Four percent of the budget is spent on DC communications.
"Seven percent is spent on supplies necessary to maintain optimum office operations as well as reference materials essential for staff to succeed in their jobs.
"Seven percent is spent in communication outreach -- printing and mail, outreach for meetings, forums, hearings, and notices to constituents. The office is finding better and more cost-efficient ways to reach the constituency, like town hall events, informational meetings, and job fairs which benefit the constituents. The office also frequently mails information to constituents."
"Ten of Congressman Paul's staff have been with him for five or more years. Of those 10, half of them have worked for the Congressman for 10 or more years. Higher turnover offices can start new employees out at lower pay, which likely accounts for their lower average salaries. The congressman's district staff have an outstanding reputation for diligent casework. The length of service and the outstanding performance of his staff in Texas and DC lends itself to a higher pay scale."