Houston Chronicle: Congress watchdog groups urge moratorium on privately-financed travel
"Recent embarrassing revelations about trips by Members and staff of the U.S. House of Representatives from both parties highlight the failure of current travel rules to protect the integrity of the House," the groups said in a two-page letter to Ryan. "Until the American public can have confidence that the House rules and practices adequately disclose who is paying for their elected Representatives' foreign travel and protect against special interests gaining inappropriate access to Members and staff through these trips related to Members' official duties, all privately-financed foreign trips should be halted."
The letter was sent on Thursday by the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Democracy 21, and the League of Women voters, among others.
The groups called on Ryan to create a bipartisan task force to study the issue.
"The amount of privately-sponsored travel, once slashed by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) to one-third its previous levels, is again rising to near the level of the Jack Abramoff travel junket era," the groups asserted.
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