Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I’d Settle for Gas Money

Our public dollars are being used to allow our lawmakers in Washington to make “congressional delegation journeys” to locales such as Rome, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Hungary, the Marshall Islands, Iraq, Spain, Poland, Bosnia, Switzerland, and Germany. The costs for meals and lodging in excess of $5 million in 2005 do not include the expense of ferrying congresspersons on military planes. Lawmakers are not required to report the costs of military transport.

Our elected representatives’ presence on these trips “enhances our relationship with the government, think tanks, and even (local) media” in these countries, according to .S. Ambassador to Spain Eduardo Aguirre. One legislator said it allows the delegates to observe how U.S. aid money is being spent by its recipients. I’m sure Rep. Tom DeLay’s attendance at the funeral of Pope John Paul II and later at the installation of Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City served both of these purposes.

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