Attention lame duck members of Congress! You might be busy angling for that cushy private-sector job, packing up office mementos and Internet-shopping for a new set of golf clubs, but the Loop has another task to add to your to-do list.
See, the window for you to travel on the taxpayer dime is closing, so if there’s an international landmark you’re itching to see, time’s a-wasting.
While some lame ducks have already taken advantage of the opportunity to travel, those whose terms are ending have less than a month to schedule and take that last jaunt.
Members of Congress — even those who are retiring (paging Sen. Joe Lieberman!) or who were defeated in their primaries (cough, Sen. Dick Lugar, cough) — may still travel on publicly funded CODELs right up until the November election.
As usual, those wanting to take privately funded trips have to get permission ahead of time and show that the trip is connected to official business — which might be a tough sell when you’re headed for the door. The House provides this guidance for privately funded trips: generally, fact-finding missions are a no-no (because what would one do with said facts upon return?), but travel to give speeches is considered kosher.
So pack the bags now — you can always pick out that new nine-iron when you get home.