“I can’t win the argument on this kind of thing,” Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, said today when asked about the trip he made to the Galapagos Islands earlier this year with four other members of Congress.
That trip was the subject of a report last night on Inside Edition, which portrayed the taxpayer-funded excursion as a vacation for the lawmakers, all of whom serve on the House Science and Technology Committee.
The same lawmakers also went to Antarctica.
Lucas said such trips will always be “an easy target” but that they serve a function for lawmakers.
“Committee trips are important because you learn about things you don’t have the opportunity to see at home,” he said.
Moreover, he said, the trips allow lawmakers to see how U.S. research money is being spent.
The web page linked above also provides a list of the trips U.S. House members have made at taxpayer expense (go to the very end of the story on the page). The trips are referred to as “codels,” short for congressional delegations.