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Congress Gets Away With Free Foreign Trips (Updated)

Some members of Congress didn’t stick around Washington during the cold month of February, but they found better places to be on free trips to foreign lands.  

The big free trips during February included eleven members on the trip to Israel sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation . Another nineteen went to Cartagena, Colombia, with expenses paid by the Aspen Institute, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund . Other members went to Japan, Australia, and Belgium. The trip to Australia for one member and his spouse was worth almost $50,000.  

Family members also traveled free. Seventeen members of Congress took spouses along. Two members took their children. Another took their mother-in-law, all without cost to them.  

The American Israel Education Foundation covered the expenses for the educational seminar trip to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Tiberias, Israel for Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., $23,982 (including mother-in-law); Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., $12,248; Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., $12,529; Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, $10,823; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, $18,987 (including son); Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. $21,781 (including son); Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., $11,288; Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., $20,886 (includes spouse); Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., $22,503 (including spouse); Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., $23,177 (includes spouse); Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., $22,800 (including spouse).  

The Aspen Institute paid for the February 15-23 educational workshop trip to Cartagena, Colombia. Those reporting included Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas , $4,839 (including spouse); Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., $4,449; Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Ohio $5,775 (including spouse); Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., $6,386 (including spouse); Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., $2,048; Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., $7,937; Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., $4,077 (including spouse); Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, $5,259 (including spouse); Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., $6,752 (including spouse); Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., $6,099 (including daughter); Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y, $3,519; Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., $7,000 (including spouse); Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., $3,088; Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., $5,695 (includes spouse); Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., $6,285 (including spouse).  

Updated: Also on the trip were Sen. Tom Carper, D-Dela., $4,551 (including spouse); Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., $5,741 (including spouse); Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, $5,451 (including spouse); and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., $5,451 (including spouse).  

The U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress/Sasakawa Peace Foundation  paid for the trips to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan from February 15-22. Those reporting included Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., $23,688 (includes spouse); Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa., $22,865 (including spouse); Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va. $25,449 (including spouse).  

The Defence Teaming Centre Inc .(not-for-profit association) paid for the February 15-22 trip to Adelaide, Australia, for Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C, $49,635 (including spouse).  

The International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation  paid for the February 17-25 trip to Tel Aviv, Israel for Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., $18,021; and Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, $18,395.  

The European Women’s Lobby  paid for the February 17-19 trip to Brussels, Belgium, for Rep. Linda T. Sanchez, D-Calif., $2,192.

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