Congressional ‘cultural’ trips thrive; Tom Steyer’s carbon footprint; and forgiving Mark Sanford


Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford seeks absolution. (JOSHUA DRAKE/REUTERS)

Hit the road — Congress might have cracked down on travel for lawmakers and staffers, but there’s a huge “cultural exchange” loophole that’s allowed them to take hundreds of international jaunts. With destinations like the Alps and what sounds like a memorable visit to China, including shots of “Moutai, a traditional Chinese liquor” sightseeing at the exotic Forbidden City, it sounds like an opportunity not to be missed.

And here’s a complete sortable list of who’s taken the trips.

Walk the walk — According to this profile of Tom Steyer, the billionaire and climate-change activist travels by train instead of private jet (it’s all about the carbon footprint!). And note the quotes from pal John Podesta backing Steyer for Energy Secretary.

Forgive and forget? — Can voters forgive Mark Sanford? Forgiveness is one thing, but we certainly won’t let anyone forget the former South Carolina governor’s tales of hiking the Appalachian Trail...

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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