Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (d-Md.), who has been a member of Congress less than a month, is on a foreign trip at taxpayers expense.
The new representative from Prince George's County, accompanied by his wife, Judy, is in Russia visiting universities, although he is not a member of any congressional committee concerned with education.
Rep. Stan Parris (R-Va.) also is on the trip, and a third area House member, Rep. Berverly B. Byron (D-Md.), is traveling in Europe and the Middle East with the Armed Services Committee.
Hoyer, who was sworn in June 3 to replace former representative Gladys N. Spellman, was invited on the trip by Rep. Paul Simon (D-Ill.), chairman of the House subcommittee on postsecondary education.
Sherry Conway, Hoyer's press secretary, said Hoyer was chosen "because Congressman Simon know that Steny was active in educational matters in Maryland." She said Hoyer will give a report to the Maryland board for higher education, of which he is a member, after his return.
Conway said that Mrs. Hoyer, a reading administrator in the Prince George's County schools, is paying her own way.
Although Parris also is not a member of the education committee, his press secretary, Dick Leggett, said "we make no apology for the trip."
Parris was selected because of his membership on the international trade subcommittee of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, said Leggett.
Hoyer also is a member of the banking committee, but is not on its international trade subcommittee, and the Post Office and Civil Service Committee.
Conway said Hoyer "was honored by the invitation. He has never been to Russia or Eastern Europe, and this is the first trip to Russia by a congressional delegation since the invasion of Afghanistan."
In addition to Simon, Hoyer and Parris, the official party included Rep. E. Thomas Coleman (R-Mo.) and Wendell Bailey (R-Mo.) and Del. Baltasar Corrada (D-Puerto Rico), all of whom are members of the education committee.
A subcommittee staffer said the six House members planned to meet with ministers of higher education and culture in Russia and West Germany. The delegation is in Moscow today and will go to Kiev tomorrow. The final stop will be Bonn on Wednesday. The group will return to Washington Friday afternoon.
After leaving Washington Friday night, the delegation stopped in Madrid for 24 hours for what a subcommittee aide described as "time to get acclimated."
Byron spent the weekend in Ireland and went on to Cairo yesterday. After Egypt, she will visit Israel before coming home on July 8.
None of the other area members of Congress is out of the country during this recess.