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Nancy Mace reimbursements

Inside the controversy over Mace’s reimbursements

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) may have overcharged the House for thousands of dollars in personal expenses while she was in Washington, according to congressional records and personal bills reviewed by Punchbowl News.

Along with hundreds of other House members, Mace — a second-term representative — took advantage of a program that allows lawmakers to seek reimbursement for living expenses while in Washington.

The Washington Post reported this week that Mace, “who co-owns a $1,649,000 Capitol Hill townhouse she purchased in 2021 with her then-fiancé, Patrick Bryant, expensed a total of $27,817 in 2023, an average of more than $2,300 a month, according to [congressional] data released as of Tuesday.”

Our analysis of the bills from the home — Washington Gas, Pepco water, Xfinity internet, insurance and taxes — shows that Mace seems to have gotten more money from the federal government than the total of her expenses for the townhome on Capitol Hill, according to the documents reviewed by Punchbowl News. The amount overcharged by Mace comes to more than $8,900, per our analysis.

Here’s a spreadsheet detailing what we found.

Mace wasn’t available for an interview on the discrepancy between her expenses and reimbursements, her staff said.

“We follow all the rules for reimbursements and last year we were reimbursed less than what was allowed,” Gabrielle Lipsky, Mace’s communications director, said in a statement. “Our office also returned over $300,000 in taxpayer dollars from our office budget last year.”

The politics. Mace is in the midst of a competitive GOP primary against Catherine Templeton, a former Republican official in Nikki Haley’s gubernatorial administration.

Mace has won the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, but Templeton is putting up a big fight in the increasingly pricey race. Longtime South Carolina GOP Rep. Joe Wilson is backing Templeton over Mace.

Super PACs have dumped millions of dollars into the contest ahead of the June 11 primary.

South Carolina Patriots PAC, which has received millions from anonymous donors, has spent $3.8 million backing Templeton as of Thursday, according to FEC records.

WFW Action Fund, which backed Mace in a previous race, has flipped and now supports Templeton. The group got $250,000 each from Charles Schwab and Warren Stephens, both longtime donors to political groups tied to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Mace voted against McCarthy for speaker when the California Republican was ousted in October 2023.

But Win it Back PAC and Club for Growth Action have spent a combined $2.7 million supporting Mace’s reelection. Club for Growth Action has sent Win it Back PAC more than $1 million.

— Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.