Monday, June 05, 2006

Or is the F. for Frequent Flyer?

Sensenbrenner in top 10 frequent flyers

A Medill News Service report:

WASHINGTON -- Outside groups representing interests as diverse as nuclear energy and telecommunications have paid nearly $50 million since 2000 to shuttle members of Congress and their staffs around the world, from Kazakhstan to Kansas City, Paris to Palm Springs.

In fact, staffers often outpace their bosses in the number and the costs of trips that they took to far-flung edges of the world.

Overall, members of Congress went on globe-trotting excursions costing $18.9 million. But private interests paid much more -- $30 million -- to finance the trips of congressional staff members, who often are instrumental in shaping policy.
Wisconsin's skinflint frequent flyer, F. Jim Sensenbrenner, who never travels on his own dime if he can avoid it, made the Top 10 list:
Rep. Gene Green of Texas and five other Democrats were in the top 10 traveler list among members of Congress as measured by overall cost. Green topped the list with about $175,000 worth of trips, but Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, chairman of the Judiciary Committee; Democrat Robert Wexler of Florida, and California Democrat George Miller were not far behind with about $170,000 each.

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