Congressional Travel Tab Swells in Recent Years - Political News - FOXNews.com
WASHINGTON -- Spending by lawmakers on taxpayer-financed trips abroad has risen sharply in recent years, a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records shows, involving everything from war-zone visits to trips to exotic spots such as the Galápagos Islands.
The spending on overseas travel is up almost tenfold since 1995, and has nearly tripled since 2001, according to the Journal analysis of 60,000 travel records. Hundreds of lawmakers traveled overseas in 2008 at a cost of about $13 million. That's a 50 percent jump since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago.
The cost of so-called congressional delegations, known among lawmakers as "codels," has risen nearly 70 percent since 2005, when an influence-peddling scandal led to a ban on travel funded by lobbyists, according to the data.
Lawmakers say that the trips are a good use of government funds because they allow members of Congress and their staff members to learn more about the world, inspect U.S. assets abroad and forge better working relationships with each other. The travel, for example, includes official visits to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Journal analysis, based on information published in the Congressional Record, also shows that taxpayer-funded travel is a big and growing perk for lawmakers and their families. Some members of Congress have complained in recent months about chief executives of bailed-out banks, insurance companies and car makers who sponsored corporate trips to resorts or used corporate jets for their own travel.
Mean While back in the United States Congress and the President blast Auto Exects for using their private Jets but hey that's alright we will use the Tax payer Fleet and run off to some nice Tropical Island.
If they want to travel fine let them pay for it just like the rest of us, I for one would love to see the 89th Airlift Wing to lose some of there C-40B,C-32C.C-37A and only use the rest for the President and Vic President and certain Congressinal Trips that must meet certain criteria's.