July 10, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Travel Disclosure Rules Panned

Johnson said his goal is not to eliminate foreign travel, but to “reduce it, make it more accountable and give the American people more confidence” that the trips being taken are worthwhile.

Johnson wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi twice in July asking her to release information about all Congressional delegations that she approved for the July Fourth and August recess periods. The California Democrat has not replied, Johnson said.

A House leadership aide said committees are largely responsible for their own disclosure, and the primary purpose of the disclosure system is to report “what Members themselves have spent” on foreign travel, not what other agencies may have spent to support those trips.

This source said Members are generally encouraged to issue press releases about their trips or otherwise disclose as much as possible about their travel, though “obviously, you can’t give out details of trips before they go for security reasons.”

Pelosi did institute new travel policies earlier this year, including new restrictions on Members flying business class, limits on family members joining Congressional delegations and a strict reminder that any excess per diem money not needed to cover food and lodging expenses must be returned to the Treasury.

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