Staffers take $150,000 trip

Majority in Mississippi, citing the Roll Call publication on the Hill (, says 14 staffers for the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee in December took an eight-day trip to Turkey, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates that cost taxpayers more than $150,000.

At the time, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi was chairman of the committee, before the new Congress was sworn in. Majority says a Thompson staffer is defending the trip as necessary to provide first-hand info to staff.

But ouch, what a price tag!

There is legislation pending to curb the cost of such trips.

-- Geoff Pender/political editor