High-Flying Lawmakers Spent Half of Their $3.3 Million in Free Travel on Summer Getaways

Thursday, September 26, 2013
Rep. Steve Scalise (AP Photo)

Members of Congress really know how to get away for free.


Roll Call has reported that of the $3.3 million in free travel that representatives and senators enjoyed this year, about half was spent on summer trips in August during the congressional recess.


Using gift reports filed by lawmakers, Roll Call determined that members of Congress received $1,668,928 in free travel from outside groups. This amount was the highest monthly total since August 2011.


To date in 2013, lawmakers have received $3,346,611 in free travel.


Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) received a $22,230 trip to Ireland, compliments of the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange and the Ripon Society, who sponsored a conference on TransAtlantic Capital to Capital Exchange. The congressman was accompanied by his wife, as well as ten other House members and their spouses.


Sixty-three others traveled to Israel for an education seminar, which was paid for by the American-Israel Foundation. Rep. Ron Barber (D-Arizona) and his spouse were among the members of that group, having received more than $20,000 for the journey.


Twenty-three representatives visited Ethiopia for a conference on “Africa’s Emergence: Challenges and Opportunities for the United States.” The Aspen Institute picked up the bill.


Other organizations paid for lawmakers to take summer trips to Turkey, Colombia, Jordan, and China.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Members of Congress Got $1.7 Million in Free Trips in August (by Kent Cooper, Roll Call)

Join Congress, See the World – Privately Funded Travel (Roll Call)

The Pampered World of Congressional Air Travel (by Joshua Green, Bloomberg Businessweek)

What’s in a Congressional Junket? Plane Travel, Hotels and Meals—All Gratis (by Louis Berney, VTDigger)

D.C. Lawmakers Fended off Sequester Threat to Their Air Travel, but Courts Are on Their Own (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)

Secret Private Plane Rides Cost Taxpayers (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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