Congressional travel scandal as reported by the Wall Street Journal, a disclosure so outrageous on so many levels we can for the moment only excerpt, sans comment :
“Lawmakers disclosed they spent about $13 million traveling the world last year, a tenfold increase since 1995, when travel records first were made available electronically. The travel costs are covered by an unlimited fund created by a three-decade-old law.
[Foreign travel destinations]
This month, for example, 11 separate congressional delegations will swing through Germany. House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio is leading five other lawmakers on a trip around the world. Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) is taking a group of senators and their spouses to Europe for three weeks.
A spokesman for Mr. Boehner said he couldn’t comment on the trip for security reasons. A spokeswoman for Mr. Shelby said the same.
Most travel must be approved by congressional committees. Once approved, the lawmaker who is leading a delegation can decide whether to fly on a commercial airline or to request a business jet from the Department of Defense.
Lawmakers typically fly on military jets, where members of the Armed Services carry bags and take drink orders. When flying on military jets, lawmakers are permitted to bring along spouses at no cost.”