Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert and Democratic Rep. Maxwell Frost are among the lawmakers whose offices reported spending money on Twitter paid features.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images; Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
24 House members have reported spending taxpayer money on their official Twitter accounts this year.
That includes 19 Republicans and 5 Democrats. Some pay $8 monthly, others paid $84 for one year.
That allows them to edit tweets, post longer messages, and use bold or italic font on the platform.
At least 24 members of the House of Representatives are using taxpayer money to pay for enhanced features on Twitter — and they’re overwhelmingly Republicans.
A recently-published government report on House members’ office spending — encompassing April through June of this year — shows that 19 Republicans and 5 Democrats reported spending official funds on “Twitter Paid Features,” recently rebranded as “X Premium.”
Some offices pay $8 per month (plus tax), while others have made a one-time payment of $84 for a whole year of the service.
While members of Congress are generally verified users on the platform — most official congressional Twitter accounts have the grey check mark symbol associated with government officials — they do not automatically have access to the enhanced features offered by X Premium.
Among those features are the ability to edit tweets, write longer posts, and use bold or italicized fonts.
It’s not out of the ordinary for lawmakers to use official funds for something like this — offices routinely spend money on resources that allow them to communicate with constituents and get their message out. Additionally, the amount of money that offices are spending on Twitter is relatively minuscule compared to other expenses.
But Twitter used to be totally free, before Elon Musk launched “Twitter Blue” following his takeover of the platform last October. Given Musk’s polarizing leadership of the platform over the course of the last year, the decision by some lawmakers to pay to use the platform is notable.
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, for example, began reporting monthly payments of $8.48 to the platform in February, and has done so for each of the following five months.
Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida, by contrast, paid $89.04 for a year-long subscription in March.
Some lawmakers may also use the service on their campaign accounts, but they are forbidden from using official funds for it.
“The Twitter paid feature charges on the disclosure are for the Congresswoman’s official account,” Joey Hungerford, a spokesman for Boebert, told Insider earlier this year. “We do not allocate any funds from the House of Representatives for her personal or campaign accounts.”
Reports are only available through the end of June, and it’s possible that more lawmakers have signed up since then. Additionally, some members of Congress who didn’t report any expenditures on Twitter — such as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — nonetheless appear to have access to certain premium features, including longer tweets.
At least one lawmaker — Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas — was only briefly subscribed to the service, with the most recent expenditure taking place in January of this year. His office confirmed to Insider that they no longer maintain a subscription for the service.
In addition to lawmakers’ personal offices, several House committees have spent money on enhanced Twitter features, including the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, Oversight and Accountability, and Rules.
Here are the 5 House Democrats who have spent taxpayer money on Twitter:
Rep. Brendan Boyle of PennsylvaniaRep. Joaquin Castro of TexasRep. Jason Crow of ColoradoRep. Maxwell Frost of FloridaRep. Johnathan Jackson of Illinois
And here are the 19 House Republicans who have spent taxpayer money on Twitter:
Rep. Lauren Boebert of ColoradoRep. Josh Brecheen of OklahomaRep. Michael Cloud of TexasRep. Andrew Clyde of GeorgiaRep. John Curtis of UtahRep. Mario Diaz-Balart of FloridaRep. Jeff Duncan of South CarolinaRep. Brad Finstad of MinnesotaRep. Brian Fitzpatrick of PennsylvaniaRep. Mike Flood of NebraskaRep. Mike Garcia of CaliforniaRep. Bill Johnson of OhioRep. Darin LaHood of IllinoisRep. Debbie Lesko of ArizonaRep. Barry Loudermilk of GeorgiaRep. Guy Reschenthaler of PennsylvaniaRep. John Rose of TennesseeRep. Victoria Spartz of IndianaRep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin