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Congressional staffers often travel on foreig

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About a dozen congressional staffers flew business class on a trip to China last summer and stayed at luxury hotels while touring the Great Wall and the Forbidden City and receiving a “briefing on ancient artifacts and dynasties” at the Shanghai Museum.

The all-expenses-paid visit came courtesy of China. The Chinese government hosted a day of meetings with officials in Beijing followed by eight days packed with outings to destinations often frequented by tourists along with a stop at a missile frigate and two others related to national security — the official theme of the trip.

More and more foreign governments are sponsoring such excursions for lawmakers and their staffs, though an overhaul of ethics rules adopted by Congress five years ago banned them from going on most other types of free trips. This overseas travel is often arranged by lobbyists for foreign governments, though lobbyists were barred from organizing other types of congressional trips out of concern that the trips could be used to buy favor.

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Speaking as one who has greatly benefitted from corporate perks from insurance corporations including a trip to Vancouver to watch car racing while being put up in the four seasons hotel and given $100.00 a day spending money from a health insurance carrier, I can't really gripe, unless there is a conflict of interest or if there was no work done.

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In a perfect world they would be paying a small stipend into the tax pool for these trips abroad.

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In a perfect world they would be paying a small stipend into the tax pool for these trips abroad.

In a perfect world they would have to pay 100% of the gift's value in taxes except those exceeding a few hundred dollars.

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what's that? Politicians rorting the system?

Shocked I am. Shocked.

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You should be shocked if this is the first time youve heard it. Since its the hundredth time Ive heard it its lost its wow factor. Call me indoctrinated.

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