September 25, 2015
Rep. Peters Calls for Better Disclosure of Free Congressional Trips
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) introduced a House Resolution to increase transparency on travel taken by Members of Congress and their staff that is paid for by foreign governments or private organizations. The resolution fulfills another commitment to the ‘Fix Congress Now’ plan Peters announced earlier this year.
“If a Member of Congress or their staff accepts a free trip, they should have a good reason for it, and they should let the public know who paid and why,” Peters said. “First-person, on-site experiences can provide valuable insight that helps make informed decisions. If you accept a trip for these reasons, you shouldn’t be afraid to make this information readily available to the public.”
“This is a common-sense step to increase transparency. Speaker Boehner should bring it up for a vote and the House should pass it immediately. There is no reason not to act,” he added.
The resolution Congressman Peters introduced today would require that Members of Congress put on their official websites travel that is taken by the Member or staff at the expense of an private organization or foreign government. That disclosure on Member websites would have to include the names of the individuals traveling, the dates of travel, sites visited, cost of the trip, the name of the organization, entity, or government funding the trip, and a link to the House Clerk’s site that currently hosts the corresponding documentation.
Background on Rep. Peters’ ‘Fix Congress Now’ Plan
In February, Congressman Peters introduced his plan to make government more efficient and accountable through common-sense reforms. It focused on six areas: Make Congress Work, Improve Our Elections, Remove Inefficiency and Government Waste, Ensure Ethical Standards, Increase Transparency and Openness, and Make Government Green.