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Congress Really Hates "Swag"

"I have got a bugaboo about swag."

Posted on June 6, 2013, at 4:09 p.m. ET

Thursday, acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel had to testify in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.

Jason Reed / Reuters

Members grilled the new IRS director on exorbitant, inappropriate expenses charged by the agency.

Charles Dharapak / AP

But Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif, really just wanted to get down to the bottom of IRS SWAG.

"I have got a bugaboo about swag."


"I think the federal government does not need to be in the business of buying anything that resembles swag."

"So what would you say about swag and how widespread is it?"

"I was pretty central to efforts at OMB to cut down on conference spending, to cut down on swag."

"We put in an executive order while I was at OMB, restrictions on the spending of money on swag."


"I don't want any swag purchased at the IRS while I am commissioner for sure."

Listen to the amazing exchange below.

Jackie Speier, protecting against swag since 2008.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

And Justin Bieber says: