The Washington Post

Retiring House Armed Services chairman back from one his final foreign jaunts

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), right, listens to testimony. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Retiring House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif. ) may be a lame duck, but he hasn’t let that ground him. McKeon returned Tuesday morning from a 10-day — was going to be 12-day, but the House recessed later than expected — mission to find facts and meet with officials in Asia.

The congressional delegation (codel), which included committee members Steve Palazzo (R-Miss.), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), plus some spouses, took a military jet and stopped in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

We hear that McKeon had hoped to meet with senior ministers and visit a Chinese aircraft carrier, but the annoyingly bellicose commies were upset that his next stop was Taiwan, so they nixed those plans. The delegation instead had a meeting and working lunch with McKeon’s Chinese counterpart, Madame Fui Ling.

So is this the chairman’s swan song tour? Not at all. We’re hearing he’s going to be making a few more trips. Better pack them in before Election Day, when House rules, as we noted in April, frown on further foreign jaunts.







Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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