Nancy Mace faces ethics investigation after listing her DC townhouse on VRBO as a vacation rental

Republican lawmaker reportedly expensed more than $23,000 in 2023

Ariana Baio
Wednesday 12 June 2024 20:31
Comments
Republican rep Nancy Mace was among a group of House members who expensed a hefty amount for lodging
Republican rep Nancy Mace was among a group of House members who expensed a hefty amount for lodging (Getty Images)

Congresswoman Nancy Mace is facing scrutiny over expenses she claimed on her $1.6m townhouse in Washington DC while also allegedly advertising it as a short-term rental for events and vacations.

The House Ethics Committee has begun a preliminary review of $23,000 in lodging costs that the South Carolina representative expensed in 2023 after receiving a complaint, according to the New York Times. The expenses amount was notably higher than what other members had filed in claims.

Under a new reimbursement program instituted last year, members of Congress may expense up to $34,000 in lodging and food costs while they are on official business in Washington DC.

But the program has some rules. Members are barred from expensing mortgage payments; it only covers days they worked in or flew to DC; and they cannot file for more than their actual expenses. They are not required to provide receipts but it’s recommended they keep them for their records.

Mace allegedly overcharged for expenses tied to the three-bedroom, DC townhome that she bought in 2021 with her ex-fiancé, Patrick Bryant, for $1.6m. The couple split up last year.

South Carolina Rep Nancy Mace greets supporters at a Trump rally in February 2024. She is facing a possible investigation by the House Ethics Committee over her expenses claims
South Carolina Rep Nancy Mace greets supporters at a Trump rally in February 2024. She is facing a possible investigation by the House Ethics Committee over her expenses claims (Getty Images)

An analysis by Punchbowl News estimated that Mace overcharged by more than $8,900.

During the same period when she claimed expenses, Mace also allegedly listed her townhome on VRBO, the short-term rental site, according to The Daily Mail.

The listing describes the brick townhome as “The DuPont House”, describing it as suitable for 10 -24 people and “perfectly situated from the Capitol.”

A photo of the listing shows the home with an American Flag and South Carolina flag hanging outside the front door. The listing is no longer available on VRBO but another rental site appears to still feature the home as an event space.

The Independent has emailed Mace’s office for comment.

The Washington Post reported that Mace had directed her staff to seek the maximum reimbursement each day the House was in session. Mace denied the allegation to The Post, and her spokesperson said that her office follows “all the rules for reimbursements.”

“Our office also returned over $300,000 in taxpayer dollars from our office budget last year,” the spokesperson said.

The House Ethics Committee has not yet taken a vote to authorize an investigation.

The South Carolina congresswoman has also faced accusations of creating a “toxic” work environment. At least nine people have left her office since November 2023.

Mace won the Republican primary election in her district on Tuesday, beating her challengers Catherine Templeton and William Young.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in