Unpack Those Bags

A busier work schedule and fear of scandal have put the kibosh on a lot of the lobbyist-funded January junkets for members of Congress, according to this story from MSNBC. No more jetting off to Hawaii for "conferences" and a mid-winter tan, looks like actually legislating will take precedence. Dry your eyes.

 

In the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandals and his now-infamous Scotland golfing junket for former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) and Ralph Reed, among others, lobbyist-funded travel has plummeted. Many members of Congress are eager to avoid scrutiny, others say they can get the information they need without lobbyists footing the bill, like Re. Todd Platts (R-PA) who takes meetings in his district office with interested groups, and who stated: "If it's something that has any business, in relationship to your job, your job is going to pay for the travel."

 

For any of you planning winter trips to Vegas or Maui another bit of good news: there may be a few more hotel vacancies.