Rep. Michele Bachmann Takes Son on Free Trip to Israel
Posted at 2:51 p.m. on Nov. 26, 2013
A member of Congress has reported she received a gift of more than $25,000 in free travel for herself and her son to travel to Israel at the beginning of November, along with several other members and their spouses.
The itinerary included staying at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, visits to the Western Wall, Siebenberg House, Temple Mount, Pools of Bethesda, the Knesset, Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsamane, shopping in the Old City, City of Ariel, City of Samaria, Mountain of Blessing, Joseph’s Tomb Overlook, Shiloh, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jordan Valley, Golan Heights, and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
The sponsor of the trip, the U.S. Israel Education Association, previously named the American Israel Educational Association, paid for seven members of Congress and a family member to travel to Israel between 11/1 and 11/10. The purpose of the trip was to receive briefings on the U.S. Israel relationship and Israel’s relationship to other countries in the region. Groups making grants include the U.S. Israel Education Association, the New Life Foundation (La.), the Birmingham Jewish Foundation (Ala.), and the Morgan Fund of the Hope Christian Community Foundation (Tenn.). The American Israel Education Foundation has paid almost $6 million from 2000 to August 2013 for members of Congress to travel to Israel.
Although trips are not supposed to be paid for by lobbyists or those hiring lobbyists, the trip approval forms and agenda do include a listing of each member invited, their committee assignments, and specific bills sponsored or co-sponsored, relating to Israel. The trip also included a tour of the Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., and the Defense Ministry.
Free travelers included Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala. and spouse (11/1 – 11/10) $28,000; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and her son, Harrison, (11/1 – 11/10) $25,274; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and spouse (10/30 – 11/8) $22,634; Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., and spouse (11/1 – 11/10) $25,724; Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., and spouse (11/1 – 11/10) $25,724; Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, and spouse (11/1 – 11/10) $25,724; and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and spouse (11/3 – 11/10) $23,352.
Update 11/29: Rep. Aderholt has amended his travel report to show his expenses were $25,724.