Congress: Have Speech, Will Travel

Have Speech, Will Travel

For every reform there is a loophole. Under current congressional ethics codes, if an organization pays a politician to give a speech, it is permitted to pay him reasonable travel expenses. As a result, reports the citizens' lobby Common Cause, all-expense-paid nights away from home have increased 50% among Senators over the past five years and 200% among Congressmen. One example: Minnesota Senate Republican David Durenberger and his two sons, 21 and 23, were able to wrap a free and entirely legal six-day Caribbean vacation around the Senator's informal meeting with Puerto Rican health officials and a speech he delivered to...

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