The C Street Family’s Frequent Fliers Club

A breakdown of the $120,000 the Family has spent sending members of Congress all over the world.

<a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/52/C-40B_USAF_VIP_Transport.jpg">Wikimedia</a>

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[READ ALSO “JUNKETS FOR JESUS”: How your congressman traveled the world to preach to dictators on the taxpayers’ dime.]

Some members of Congress make a point of working visits to Family friends into their official travel—Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and others have conducted Family business on taxpayer-funded trips. Others have relied on the Family’s generosity in underwriting their travel. Based on congressional records, here’s a breakdown of the nearly $120,000 the organization has spent just in the past decade to take members anywhere from Aruba and Hawaii to Jordan, Japan, and Greece.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.)

 Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.)

$48,582

for trips to Jordan, Israel, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Croatia, and Greece.

Much of Aderholt’s globe-hopping involved the Balkan version of the National Prayer Breakfast. Stan Holmes, a Family official who arranges much of the congressional travel, told Roll Call that the trips are “built around the spiritual realm.”

Reps. John Carter (R-Texas) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.)

Reps. John Carter (R-Texas) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.)

$7,490

each for trip to Belarus.

 

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)

$7,523

for trips to British Virgin Islands as “guest speaker for prayer breakfast” and to Lebanon to “build bonds.”

 

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.)

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.)

$11,513

for trips to Aruba (with wife Susan), British Virgin Islands, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel.

 

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.)

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.)

$16,808

for trips to Jordan, Israel, and Japan for “fact-finding” and “policy dialogue/programs with Japanese officials.”

 

Rep. Tony Hall (D-Ohio, left Congress 2002)

Rep. Tony Hall (D-Ohio, left Congress 2002)

$3,454

for trip to Hawaii for “National Prayer Breakfast Activities.”

 

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.)

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.)

$7,888

for trip to Jordan and Israel to “build bridges of friendship.”

 

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.)

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.)

$15,268

for trips to Hawaii, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, and Lebanon, all for “meeting with government officials and other National Prayer Breakfast activities.”

Aderholt, Carter, Pitts, Coburn, Doyle, Ensign, Hall, Hoekstra, Wolf photos courtesy of Wikimedia.

Budgets and trip information from LegiStorm.com.

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The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

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