NJ Politics Digest: A Look at the NJ Congressional Delegation’s Travel Spending

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer. Alyana Alfaro for Observer

Taking a trip and having someone else pay for it is a perk of serving in congress. But some in the New Jersey delegation appear to be taking advantage of it.

The Asbury Park Press examined disclosure forms and found that U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer and his wife took a six-day, $10,452 trip to Paris that was paid for by the Ripon Society and the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange. The purpose of the trip was “enhancing international relations and discussing policy issues between the United States and France.” Gottheimer also attended ceremonies marking the centennial of the end of World War I.

Gottheimer’s staff also took five trips, with a total cost of $11,071, according to the report.
Rep. Bill Pascrell went on the same trip as Gottheimer, with the Ripon Society and Franklin Center paying the $11,369 cost, the report said. Pascrell’s staff didn’t take any trips.

In all, private groups paid a total of more than $104,000 worth of “gift travel for the New Jersey delegation and their staffs, the report said.

That group did not include Reps. Albio Sires and Chris Smith, whose offices took no trips. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, as well as Reps. Frank LoBiondo, Tom MacArthur, Frank Pallone, Leonard Lance and Rodney Frelinghuysen took no trips themselves, even though staff did travel.

Quote of the Day: “New Jersey’s tax subsidy program is so overly generous that it enables the sellers to receive far more money in subsidies than they actually owe in taxes.” — New Jersey Policy Perspective.

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NJ Politics Digest: A Look at the NJ Congressional Delegation’s Travel Spending