Military Pays for Booze for Congressional Trips Abroad

Friday, January 22, 2010

When members of Congress travel overseas at the expense of the Department of Defense, they are treated to thousands of dollars worth of alcohol and other amenities. A review by The Wall Street Journal of congressional disclosure documents for 43 trips found that expenditures averaged $4,300 per trip—and that’s just what has been reported. Lawmakers are required to declare what they spend on travel but not what others like the Pentagon do on Congress’ behalf.

 
In March 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and nine other lawmakers traveled to England, India and Spain. Their flight included $438.75 worth of alcohol, including three cases of beer, 15 bottles of wine, three bottles of vodka, Crown Royal, Dewar’s and other liquor, plus another $750 worth of chips, cakes and other snacks—all of which were paid for by the U.S. Air Force.
 
A junket taken by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) to Africa in December 2008 included $3,360 in “emergency requests” paid for by the military. Some of Inhofe’s party went to a Wal-Mart and bought $130 worth of cookies, mints and other munchies for the trip. They also spent $250 at Total Wine & More.
 
Joel Johnson, a defense-industry analyst with the Teal Group Corporation and former staffer for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the military-funded trips help provide a “bonding” experience between lawmakers and Pentagon officials which “is helpful for the military when they are seeking particular things in appropriations or authorizations.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
Military Helps Fund Congressional Trips (By T.W. Farnam and Brody Mullins, Wall Street Journal)

Comments

a 7 years ago
We can't have our handlers getting the shakes when conducting foreign policy. Throw them all out, they've created a den of iniquity! Strike

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