Finance Office
Frequently Asked Questions 


American ExpressFinancial CounselingFinancial Statements
Statement of DisbursementsPayrollVouchers



What does my Member have to do to obtain a card?

To establish “Government Travel Charge Card” accounts (American Express), your Member must write and sign a letter stating “I am choosing to participate in the Government Travel Charge Card Program. Please forward an application to me. I understand that this card is to be used for official travel related expenses only”. Please address the letter to the AMEX Program Coordinator, Office of Finance, 263 Cannon House Office Building. If you hand deliver your letter, you can expedite the process by completing an application immediately. If you mail your letter, an application will be sent to you for completion. The turnaround time for receiving your card is two weeks from the date your letter is received in Finance. If you have any questions, please call the AMEX line, x56587.

Am I eligible to get an American Express card?

It is the Member’s decision as to whether you can acquire an American Express card. A letter, as above, must include your name and social security number.

Can I use this as a personal or office credit card?

No. This card is for official travel related business only. It is a violation of the agreement with American Express to use the card for any other use.

How do we get billed for balances on this card?

American Express will bill the individual card holder. It is the responsibility of the card holder to pay American Express on a timely basis. The Office of Finance cannot pay your credit card bills for you.

I forgot to pay my bill, what will happen to my credit?

American Express will send cardholders a suspension notice at 60 days, suspend cardholders accounts at 75 days and cancel cardholders accounts at 120 days. Accounts that are 120 days past due, have a balance over $100.00, and are in a canceled status, will be referred to a credit bureau.

I have a problem with my Member’s American Express account, who can help me?

If you are experiencing a problem with American Express, please call Cathy Young at American Express, 1-800-492-4922, ext. 3816 or 1-602-492-3816, or your Financial Counselor.



I am trying to reconcile an accounting problem with a vendor. Can you do this for me?

We can help in this matter. Starting with your Monthly Financial Statements, compare these with your vendor bills/statements. Please determine three things. Have you vouchered all expenses? Have we paid all expenses submitted? Does the vendor reflect receipt of all payments? If this research does not identify the problem, please contact your Financial Counselor.

By the time I receive my District office electric bill, create a voucher, get my Member’s signature and send it to you, the due date (and potential late charge) has been reached. What can I do?

We have an expedited program for any tariffed utility you have. Contact your vendor and request that the billing address be changed to: Member’s Name, c/o Office of Finance, 263 Cannon House Office Building, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., 20515.

We pay these charges immediately and report all payments on your Monthly Financial Statement. An account must be current before going into this program. Please call your Financial Counselor for advice.

Has a particular check been cashed?

Cashed checks are returned to the Treasury, not the Finance Office. If you or a vendor dispute a particular check, we can request the Treasury to trace the check. They will either advise that the check is uncashed, in which case we can reissue, or provide a photocopy of the cashed check and its endorsement. This generally takes about two weeks. We ask that you request this action in writing.



Can you tell me the remaining balance in my Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA)?

Yes. Your Monthly Financial Statement reflects the balance as of the close of the last month. Remember there is a one month lag in reporting on your financial statement your Official Mail usage by USPS and telecommunications by House Information Resources.

If you need a balance as of a particular day, we can also provide this information. Our new financial system will give us an instant account balance.

I have not received my monthly allowance statement. What should I do?

Monthly Financial Statements showing expenses for the previous month and year-to-date are normally mailed by the ninth business day of each month. If you have not received your statement, contact your Financial Counselor.

Why don’t my records balance to my monthly statement?

Expenses recorded may not appear on your monthly statement if vouchers are submitted at the close of a month and there is insufficient time to pay them. Financial Counselors are available to work with you in reconciling accounts.

I have found an error in my monthly statement, how can I fix it?

If you find an error in your Monthly Financial Statement, please notify your Financial Counselor immediately. Remember: your Monthly Financial Statements are used for the public record, the Statement of Disbursements (formerly called The Report of the Clerk of the House). Anytime you notice an error or if you have any questions, your financial counselor will review your account with you.



What is the Statement of Disbursements?

The Statement of Disbursements is a public record of all expenses of an office for a particular period. Currently, it is published quarterly.

Where does the information come from?

The information found in the Statement of Disbursements is compiled from an office’s Monthly Financial Statement.

Where may I get a copy of the Statement of Disbursements?

Copies may be obtained from Legislative Resources, x51300, 1036 Longworth House Office Building, or the Documents Room, x53874, in the Basement of the Ford Building (House Annex II).



How do I get placed on the payroll?

As a new employee, your employing office should give you a new employee’s packet with all the pertinent information you need to get appointed. If they have not, packets are available in the Office of Human Resources or Office of Finance, 263 Cannon House Office Building. Any questions should be directed to your Payroll Counselor in the Finance Office. For any benefits related questions, please refer to the Human Resources section of this book, or call a Benefits Counselor at x52450.

When do I get paid?

House employees are paid on the last working day of every month, except for the month of December when that month's salaries are disbursed on the 20th, or on the preceding working day when the 20th falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Regardless of your departing date, your salary will not be disbursed until pay day.

Member’s monthly salary is paid on the first business day of the month following the close of the preceding monthly pay period. Any further questions should be directed to a Counselor in the Office of Members’ Services at x53644.

Where will my check be sent?

The Oath of Office form, included in the new employee’s packet, requires you to designate a mailing address for your net paycheck. You can elect to have direct deposit by completing the Direct Deposit form also included in the new employee’s packet.



Has my voucher been paid yet?

We can easily provide this information to anyone who has been authorized access to these data by your Member, Chair, etc. We simply need to know your office name and it speeds up our search if you can also identify the type of expense, date and/or the vendor.

Do I need to submit original receipts with my voucher?

Yes. The current rules outlined in the Members' Congressional Handbook requires original receipts, invoices, etc. When original receipts are unavailable, however, Members may submit the voucher with a copy of the document with signed certification stating, “I certify that this is a true copy. This is the only submission for payment.” In instances where original receipts are not provided, e.g., bus fares, pay phone calls, etc., or for taxi fares less than $10.00, the information on the front of the voucher will be considered sufficient.

What information do I need to include when preparing my vouchers?

Vouchers must include the following information: