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The latest update on privately-paid travel for members of Congress, from the indispensable website Political MoneyLine:

San Paulo-Brasilia-Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and her grandson received a free $20,371 trip from the Congressional Economic Leadership Institute for a “Business trip/non-official Congressional visit” trip Nov. 26-Dec 3. Rep. Dennis Cardoza also went along for “Fact Finding/Educational” Nov 26 – Dec 5, with only $10,070 in expenses. Rep. Michael Capuano and his spouse went along for $19,403 in expenses.

Their trip was mentioned on the website of the Brazilian Mercantile & Futures Exchange that states the Congressional Economic Leadership Institute “is supported by companies like American Airlines, Boeing, Daimler-Chrysler, EDS, Embraer, Merck, and Unilever.” The article mentioned six Members of Congress were on the trip.

Tokyo – Rep. Madeleine Bordallo received a free $2,148 trip to Japan from the US-Japan Legislative Exchange Program.

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands – Reps. Gregory Meeks, Wm. Lacy Clay, and David Scott traveled there for “fact-finding,” Nov. 11-13, compliments of the Carib News. Rep. Donald Payne listed his trip as having been paid for by the Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference.

Las Vegas, Nevada – Rep. Steven LaTourette and his spouse got a free $5,947 trip (Nov. 19-22) from the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Cooper Tire and Rubber Company paid $1,362 for Sen. Blanche Lincoln to travel to Findlay, Ohio, Dec. 7, for “Update Senior Management on Washington Issues.”

The Korean American Church Coalition paid $2,346 for Sen. Sam Brownback to travel (Nov.27-28) to Burbank, CA, for a speech.

Rep. John Conyers back reported four trips in August-October 2005.

By the way, the party affiliations for the lawmakers listed are: D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, R, D, R, D. The party affiliation for Rep. Johnson’s grandson is not known.

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