[READ ALSO “JUNKETS FOR JESUS”: How your congressman traveled the world to preach to dictators on the taxpayers’ dime.]
Some members of Congress make a point of working visits to Family friends into their official travel—Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and others have conducted Family business on taxpayer-funded trips. Others have relied on the Family’s generosity in underwriting their travel. Based on congressional records, here’s a breakdown of the nearly $120,000 the organization has spent just in the past decade to take members anywhere from Aruba and Hawaii to Jordan, Japan, and Greece.
for trips to Jordan, Israel, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Croatia, and Greece.
Much of Aderholt’s globe-hopping involved the Balkan version of the National Prayer Breakfast. Stan Holmes, a Family official who arranges much of the congressional travel, told Roll Call that the trips are “built around the spiritual realm.”
Reps. John Carter (R-Texas) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.)
each for trip to Belarus.
for trips to British Virgin Islands as “guest speaker for prayer breakfast” and to Lebanon to “build bonds.”
for trips to Aruba (with wife Susan), British Virgin Islands, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel.
for trips to Jordan, Israel, and Japan for “fact-finding” and “policy dialogue/programs with Japanese officials.”
Rep. Tony Hall (D-Ohio, left Congress 2002)
for trip to Hawaii for “National Prayer Breakfast Activities.”
for trip to Jordan and Israel to “build bridges of friendship.”
for trips to Hawaii, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, and Lebanon, all for “meeting with government officials and other National Prayer Breakfast activities.”
Aderholt, Carter, Pitts, Coburn, Doyle, Ensign, Hall, Hoekstra, Wolf photos courtesy of Wikimedia.
Budgets and trip information from LegiStorm.com.