Between 2006 and 2011, U.S. lawmakers and their staff made roughly 800 “cultural exchange trips” courtesy of foreign governments, the Washington Post notes.
“The trips benefit from a broad exemption from ethics rules and most Capitol Hill employees never need to disclose their participation,” the report adds, citing data collected by Legistorm.com.
Using more than 130,000 of personal financial forms, the WaPo put together the following chart illustrating Congress’ globetrotting lifestyle:
As the above chart clearly illustrates, the bulk of U.S. lawmakers’ time abroad has been spent in China (226 collective visits), Taiwan (121), and Saudi Arabia (65).
Final Thought: If you've ever wondered why it seems like nothing gets done in Washington, it might have something to do with the fact that our elected officials love to travel.
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Featured image courtesy WaPo.