Report: Democrat Eric Swalwell Wants to Use Campaign Cash for Babysitter During Work Trips

Swalwell
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell reportedly wants to use donations to his congressional campaign to afford babysitters for his three children while he is on foreign government-sponsored business trips for his taxpayer-funded job.

As first reported by the Free Beacon, Swalwell’s campaign lawyer wrote a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking for the organization to expand the rule allowing candidates to use campaign funds for babysitters to be used for “overnight childcare” while traveling overseas for work.

The congressman’s campaign lawyer argued that his status as a “well-known member of Congress” and a “prolific fundraiser” has gotten him “many invitations” to go to events, “including invitations from foreign governments for information gathering visits,” which means he would be gone on overnight trips.

However, Swalwell regularly travels to Washington, DC, when Congress is in session.

The congressman already uses “more campaign money on nannies than any other member of Congress,” spending $15,983 on child care through the first quarter of this year and $72,488 since 2019, according to the report.

But, his lawyer asked for the FEC to allow candidates to use campaign funds to pay for overnight babysitters, campaign events, fundraisers, and “travel at the request of foreign governments.”

If the FEC expanded its rule, allowing candidates to spend campaign cash on “overnight childcare,” it would be a “perk” that is not available to more working Americans who are forced to pay for childcare out of pocket.

The Free Beacon detailed Swalwell’s previous dilemmas with foreign travel and engaging with foreign individuals:

Swalwell’s wife, a hotel executive, has traveled with Swalwell during his two recent foreign trips, including the one during which he rode bare-chested on a camel in the desert of Qatar. The U.S.-Qatar Business Council paid $19,400 for the Swalwells’ flights, lodging, and food. The Swalwells in February 2020 went on an all-expenses-paid work trip to Germany, staying in a hotel that cost $611 per night.

Foreigners have long been attracted to Swalwell. A female Chinese spy named Fang Fang cultivated a years-long relationship with the lawmaker before he was elected to Congress. She fled the United States in 2015 after the FBI warned Swalwell about her activities.

Swalwell has come under scrutiny for his profligate campaign spending, with one government watchdog group saying the Democrat uses his campaign coffers as a “private piggy bank.” Swalwell spent more than $20,000 on luxury car services and hotel stays last year and more than $7,000 at swanky restaurants in Washington, D.C., according to Fox News. He also paid a family member more than $17,000 for babysitting. Swalwell spent lavishly on alcohol, hotels, limo services, and restaurants from his campaign, according to reports.

After a rule change in 2018, anyone running for Congress has been allowed to use campaign cash to pay for child care during campaign events or fundraisers. The change was made after groups like Vote Mama Foundation argued that it would allow more women to seek office.

Swalwell once told Vote Mama Foundation, the group that led the charge on the rule change, that he once had to “reevaluate” if he should stay in Congress due to child-care costs taking a “toll financially.”

“On top of the official duties, there is an obligation to campaign for House candidates and be away a lot. It was taking a toll financially,” said Swalwell, noting that his wife recently received a promotion.

The congressman’s campaign did not respond to the Free Beacon’s request for comment.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jbliss@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.

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