U.S. Rep. Joe Barton and wife Terri are back today after a fun-filled weeklong trip to Slovenia and Italy. The congressional junket, courtesy of the taxpayers, included 11 members led by Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., under the auspices of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Although there were all the obligatory meetings with local officials and European parliamentarians at a conference in Slovenia at the beginning of the trip, all the attention riveted on the trip’s stops in Venice and Naples and the luxurious accommodations, fine eating and opera planned for the members that the Washington Post’s Al Kamen detailed in a column last week.
Berkley defended the trip to the Las Vegas Review-Journal saying that “It is a busy, busy agenda, and in between, there is some time for actual pleasure and enjoyment.” In Venice, she added, "I am going to go on a gondola after I have done the Air Force base and the liquid petroleum meeting."
And Berkley said she and her husband were planning to attend the opera in Venice. (Members buy their own tickets.) No word yet on whether Barton, an Arlington Republican who has served since 1985, and his wife took in Tosca.
-- Maria Recio