June 06, 2006

$50 million in trips for Congress

"Some trips seem to have been little more than pricey vacations — often taken in the company of spouses or other relatives — wrapped around speeches or seminars," the report said. "In many instances, trip sponsors appeared to be buying access to elected officials or their advisers."

Congressional aides took more than 70 percent of the trips, the study found. While the travel isn't illegal, the report shines a light on how business is often done in Washington. It comes in a congressional election year when one of the biggest issues is corruption.

Of the 25 individual lawmakers who accepted more than $120,000 worth of travel during the period, 17 were Democrats. Of the two dozen congressional offices on which private trip sponsors spent the most money, 15 were Republican, the study said.
Report from The Center for Public Integrity


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