The Washington Post

Jackson Lee’s $20K airfare

William Shatner in a scene from a commercial. (AP/Priceline)

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tex.) spent nearly $20,000 on transportation costs alone for a four-day trip to Korea and Vietnam, according to documents recently filed with the House clerk — and flagged by our pal Kent Cooper at Political Moneyline.

According to the documents, Jackson Lee met up with a CODEL (shorthand for “congressional delegation,” or a group of lawmakers travelling abroad on official business) focused on child welfare and adoption issues in Seoul on Feb. 16. They then headed to Hanoi, where they met with various Vietnamese officials. The rest of the group travelled on to Cambodia. But Jackson Lee took a commercial flight back to her home district in Houston, leaving the group a day before the trip ended “due to commitments in her district.”

The total tally for her transportation? A whopping $19,969.70.

Jackson Lee’s spokesman would only say that the tickets were business class.

Others on the trip spent less. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Calif.), and Albio Sires (D-N.J.) spent somewhere in the $13K range, we hear — a lot of money, sure, but not unheard of for lawmakers making similar Asian jaunts.

And it’s also unclear how Jackson Lee racked up an additional $580 in expenses — as her travel document shows — in Frankfurt. According to the brief description of the trip, she was on an overnight trip from Hanoi to Houston “via Frankfurt.” Her spokesman didn’t immediately answer.

Could she have crashed in a hotel for a few hours? Make that an expensive hotel.

Mr. Shatner?

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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