Monday, May 23, 2005

Lobbyist Paid Travel

The Nuclear Energy Institute lobbys Congress for breaks for the nuclear power industry. Oh, yeah. They also fly Congressmen and staffs to places like Paris and Rome.

At least 17 Congress members have taken trips on the NEI's dime since 2000.

It's illegal for private lobbyists to pay for trips like that. The NEI takes advantage of a loophole that lets trade associations or policy groups do it.

Among those taking advantage of the junkets:

Rep James Clyburn (D-SC) -- $17,708 trip to Paris
Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) -- $30,338 trip to Rome for himself, a staffer and her spouse; $5,761 to send a staffer to France
Rep Ray LaHood (R-IL) -- $23,112 trip to France for himself, a staffer and her spouse reviewed spending reports and found the NEI spent $272,877 on 21 trips for Congress members and staff in the last four and a half years. (Chicago Tribune)

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