Tex. congressman explains large credit card debt

Freshman Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) issued a statement Thursday explaining a large amount of credit card debt that was listed on his official financial disclosure report.

As described in an article in Thursday’s Washington Post, Farenthold’s forms showed a credit card debt between $45,000 and $150,000. Farenthold, like many members of the GOP’s large freshman class, had called for Congress to rein in federal spending, saying that “like the rest of America, the government needs to tighten its belt and work within its means.”

In his statement Thursday, Farenthold said the debt was an anomaly related to his campaign and his subsequent move to Washington.

All of it has been repaid, he said.

“A significant portion of the credit card debt that was reported on my 2010 Financial Disclosure Form was from the campaign,” Farenthold wrote. “That debt has been repaid.”

“I also incurred expenses during my transition from South Texas to Washington, D.C. — those expenses have also been paid off. December was an extraordinary month for me and my family, Farenthold said, as he sought housing in Washington.

“I have paid off all of my credit card debt, and continue to pay the full balance every month,” the statement said. “I believe that Congress should lead by example by balancing our check books.”

David A. Fahrenthold covers Congress for the Washington Post. He has been at the Post since 2000, and previously covered (in order) the D.C. police, New England, and the environment.

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