Lobbyists can’t accompany members on trips — except for when they can

Lawmakers and lobbyists can still meet in exotic places — they just have to get there separately. Sometimes.

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.