Illinois' lawmakers go on 70 foreign trips in 2 years

CHICAGO (AP) — A newspaper analysis has found Illinois' 20 members of Congress have gone on 70 foreign trips to 44 countries in the past two years, costing more than $518,000.

Trips can be paid for by a number of entities under congressional rules, including taxpayers, foreign governments and private groups.

The Chicago Tribune says the actual cost of the travel is hard to pinpoint, with the cost of oft-used military aircraft not listed for taxpayer-funded trips. Costs aren't made public when foreign governments pick up the tab.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Channahon was the most frequent flier at nine trips since October 2013. He says his niche is foreign affairs, and he goes on trips to "difficult places" to help him learn.

The top destination for foreign travel for Illinois lawmakers was Cuba with nine trips.

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