Senators span globe on post-election codels

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is in Spain, where he received an award in Madrid on Monday. He is also scheduled to travel to Uganda, Burundi and Kenya with Pentagon officials to tour infectious-disease labs.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) left Tuesday for the Netherlands, where in addition to studying coastal flood protection systems, she’ll take a walking tour of Rotterdam.

Moving eastward, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has organized a trip to Israel for a group of lawmakers, including Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). While they’re over there, the politicians might just run into a future member of their ranks: Sen.-elect Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) left last week on a private family trip to the Holy Land.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), dubbed by McCain “the Three Amigos,” are in the Middle East, where they had meetings in Baghdad on Monday. Late last week, Graham and McCain attended an international security conference in Nova Scotia.

Also in the Asia this week is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who will join a delegation of senators on a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan to meet with troops and officials. 

The only people who won’t be traveling are the members who lost their seats last Tuesday; congressional rules in both the House and Senate prohibit lame-duck members and their staffs from participating in government-funded foreign travel.

It remains to be seen, however, whether anyone will continue Rep. Gene Taylor’s (D-Miss.) decades-long tradition of bringing authentic Mississippi food to U.S. troops overseas during the holidays. 

The Blue Dog Democrat lost his seat last week, and as a result has had to cancel a planned trip to Afghanistan.

Editor's note: AIPAC organized a trip for its members, but Berkley paid for her own travel and expenses. Unclear information appeared in an earlier version of this post.