U.S. House: Gift Travel
Nonprofits, companies and think tanks spend thousands of dollars sending Congress members and their staffs around the world. For the lawmakers and staffers, they consider it a chance to learn and interact in a less formal setting, but some worry it’s another way for special interests to influence and gain access to legislators.
Of note, single trips with multiple cities may be listed in the data as separate travel disclosures.
Private money funds $38K in travel by San Diego House members, staff
by Leonardo Castañeda | Aug. 25, 2017
In the past 12 months, San Diego County’s congressional delegation and the people who work for them have taken 17 trips paid for by nonprofits, think tanks and private companies. In all, $37,525 was spent on travel to places that include England, Austria, Azerbaijan, New York and Seattle.
The privately funded travel is legal. Congress members and their staff just have to file a disclosure form within 15 days of a trip that includes who paid for it, why they went and how much was spent. Nationally, House members and their staffs have taken almost 1,900 trips in the past 12 months.
Carl Luna, a political science professor at San Diego Mesa College, said the trips raise questions about special interest groups possibly influencing legislators.
Read more here.