National Journal: FLIGHT RISKS

When foreign governments host U.S. lawmakers. 

"When the incentives change, and you clamp down on privately financed travel, human nature is to find other ways to do it," says Meredith McGehee, who tracks congressional travel as policy director for the Campaign Legal Center. "We have dark money in elections, and these trips are becoming the dark money of foreign travel."

As McGehee sees it, "the real danger" is not only that lawmakers are taking junkets. It's also that foreign hosts are showing American policymakers a highly biased view of their countries. "If you're a member of Congress, and you go and all you see is the government's point of view, you're not necessarily going to go back with an accurate assessment of what's happening in that country," McGehee says.

 At the very least, McGehee argues, disclosure of itineraries is essential going forward. "If it was a legitimate trip," she asks, "what the heck are they afraid of?"

To read the full article in the National Journal, click here.