Congressional Third Party Paid Travel | OpenTheBooks Oversight Report 5_Congressional_Travel

July 18, 2022 07:00 AM




1. Between 2017 and 2021, more than 500 congressmembers and their staff reported taking almost 8,200 trips paid for by about 700 third-party organizations.  

2. Representatives or their staffers took 2,629 trips to foreign destinations and 5,563 trips to domestic destinations. 

3. Half the foreign trips went to five popular overseas destinations: 


4. Five nonprofits that provided members or their staffers with 940 paid-for destinations, received $63 million in federal contracts and grants from 2017 to 2021. These non-profits include The Aspen Institute, United Nations Foundation, Atlantic Council of the United States, German Marshall Fund, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars.

5. While this practice isn’t illegal, each trip presents lawmakers with a potential conflict of interest because it could be seen as buying influence. Each organization is globalist and tries to influence the world order.

6. An unholy alliance:


7. Furthermore, employees of these non-profit organizations also gave large political contributions – including 5,716 individual gifts totaling $541,000 during the period.

8. Political contributions:


9. Many board members, chairpersons, directors, CEOs, CFOs, executive vice-presidents, key executives and many other employees of these five organizations contributed five-figure gifts to politicians or political action committees (PACs). Nearly all the gifts were to Democrats.

10. All of the transactions listed in our report – at arm’s length – are legal, but that does not mean it is ethical. There is at least an appearance of a conflict-of-interest – on every transaction. Therefore, a simple reform cures the problem: If an entity is receiving federal funds or subsidies, then there is a bar on paying for congressional travel. 

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