USA TODAY has obtained and is making available on our website a copy of the 380-page U.S. Senate Handbook, which describes itself as "a compilation of the policies and regulations governing office administration, equipment and services, security and financial management."
U.S. Senate Handbook:
The handbook reads something like an employee manual, explaining how new senators and staff members can get ID cards and how many parking passes each senator will be issued. But it also contains detailed rules on how each senator can spend their official, multi-million-dollar, taxpayer-funded budget on things like meals and travel.
- Table of Contents (PDF)
- Part I: Administration (PDF)
- Part I: Appendices (PDF)
- Part II: Equipment and Services (PDF)
- Part IV: Financial Management (PDF)
- Part IV: Appendices (PDF)
Yet, because it has not been released, it's been impossible for the public to know whether a senator has violated the rules — for example by charging taxpayers for an improper charter flight.
The handbook is referenced in rules published by the Senate Ethics Committee, Congressional Research Service reports and history books. But the Rules Committee, which produces the handbook, does not release it. The Library of Congress does not even have a copy.