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Congress's megabuck travel tab

The officially reported cost of the 357 "fact-finding" missions that Congressmen took to 85 countries last year seemed high enough: $5.9 million. But an investigation by United Press International and a Washington watchdog group, the Better Government Association, indicates the real bill was closer to $22 million. Flights on military planes and services arranged by the State Department accounted for huge hidden costs to the taxpayer.

Last August, Senators Paula Hawkins, Jake Garn and Frank Lautenberg visited the Far East. Had they flown first-class in commercial planes, their tab would have been about $30,000. Instead,...

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