Tags: lawmakers | trips | political | fights | israel | ukraine | john boehner

Roll Call: Lawmakers' Spring Trips Preview Political Fights

By    |   Monday, 30 Mar 2015 07:19 PM

House Speaker John Boehner is taking colleagues to Israel. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy just visited Tunisia and Ukraine with lawmakers in tow. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is off to Asia, joined by a handful of House Democrats and one Republican.

All three official, taxpayer-funded congressional delegations — known as CODELs — are billed as research trips for some of the most pressing issues of the day, Roll Call reports.

But the spring-recess jaunts are also politically telling for who gets to travel and who doesn't, writes Emma Dumain of Roll Call's "218" blog.

Boehner's flying partners, for example, are all Republicans, and "among Boehner's closest friends," Roll Call reports. The McCarthy-led delegation likewise includes "lawmakers friendly to House GOP leadership," according to Roll Call.

And then there's Rep. Louis Gohmert, a Texas Republican who unsuccessfully challenged Boehner for the Speaker's job in January.

Gohmert last week found himself grounded — booted from two recess trips, one to Egypt and one to Africa, Roll Call reports.

"I'm fine with that," Gohmert said on the House floor on Thursday. "Because [Boehner] canceled my trip this weekend, I'm going to be on Fox News, so thank you, Mr. Speaker."

The Boehner delegation has already stopped in Jordan — a key Middle East ally against the Islamic State (ISIS) — en route to a meeting with newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Boehner said on Sunday that he's going to Israel to help shore up relations now that Netanyahu and the Obama administration are at odds over nuclear talks with Iran.

Coming weeks after Netanyahu spoke to Congress at Boehner's invitation, this latest visit points to increasing solidarity between congressional Republicans and Israel's conservative party leader.

The McCarthy group stopped in Tunis — site of a bloody museum attack by Islamist militants — and Kiev — home of the Western-friendly Ukrainian government that is battling separatists backed by Russia.

Pelosi's office says that she and other lawmakers headed to Asia are "focused on critical issues" between the U.S. and countries covered under the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement being negotiated by the White House.

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House Speaker John Boehner is taking colleagues to Israel. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy just visited Tunisia and Ukraine with lawmakers in tow. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is off to Asia, joined by a handful of House Democrats and one Republican.
lawmakers, trips, political, fights, israel, ukraine, john boehner, nancy pelosi, kevin mccarthy
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2015-19-30
Monday, 30 Mar 2015 07:19 PM
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