The House ethics committee has posted on its website the new rules of the road regarding travel. The House earlier this year prohibited members from accepting “officially-connected travel from a private entity that retains or employs a lobbyist.” Lobbyists also may not accompany a member on a privately paid trip on “any segment of the journey,” according to the new rules. (Private entities that do not retain a lobbyist can still pay for a member to travel).
One big loophole: Universities and other institutions of higher education can pay for a trip, and a lobbyist can come along for the ride.
Also, entities that employ a lobbyist can pay for a short trip: that is, “a single night’s lodging and meals.” But that’s not a hard-and-fast rule either. A member may stay an extra night if the ethics committee determines that it is “practically required” for said member to participate in the one-day event.