Laurie Kellman, Associated Press, writes,
See ya!The political memory of voters is very short and after a week with Congressional leaders out of the country, off the front lines, and out of the line of fire, will anyone remember how much this is going to cost?
The economic stimulus package all but signed, some lawmakers are headed to the Middle East and Europe as part of official congressional delegations. Congress is on a weeklong-President's Day recess, and that's time for large groups of members to represent the U.S. abroad on taxpayer-funded, fact-finding trips.
Several lawmakers in the House and Senate have extensive itineraries.
* House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is traveling to Italy.
* Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn., president of the NATO Paramilitary Assembly, is leading a trip to Brussels, with stops in Paris and Vienna.
* Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who chairs the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is taking a group to Israel, Syria and Austria.
* Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., is off to Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon.
The trips come after a stretch in which lawmakers lit into corporate chiefs of the banking and auto industries for their lavish lifestyles with the nation in recession. They also follow the House Democrats and Republicans annual retreats at exclusive resorts in Virginia.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.