Many House freshmen make Iraq visit

At least two dozen freshman House lawmakers have elected to travel to Iraq during their first seven months in office, according to a survey conducted by The Hill.

Of the 55 new House members, at least 18 Democrats and six Republicans have made the trip, while those who have not include at least five Republicans and 20 Democrats.


A 56th new member, Rep. Paul BrounPaul Collins BrounJoe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia California lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment Republican candidates run against ghost of John Boehner MORE (R-Ga.), was sworn in July 25 following a special election to replace the late Rep. Charles Norwood (R-Ga.). He was not included in the survey.

While lawmakers often describe Iraq trips as a powerful and moving experience, almost none return with changed minds — or switch their position on Iraq-related votes.

The survey included members who returned to office in the 2006 elections following a prior absence. Of those lawmakers, Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) made a trip during a previous term but has not traveled to Iraq in the past year.

And Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), who served a seven-month tour of duty in Iraq as an Army paratrooper before running for Congress last fall, returned this spring with a congressional delegation.

Several lawmakers who have not traveled to Iraq said they have asked to do so, or are planning a trip during the August recess. Any committee can organize congressional delegations, and members outside the panel can participate when spaces are available.


Editor's Note: After The Hill's survey had been completed, five lawmakers — Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.), Timothy Mahoney (D-Fla.), Gerald McNerney (D-Calif.) and Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) — embarked on a trip to Iraq as part of the first bipartisan, all-freshman delegation of House members.


Who has gone

Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannKlobuchar urges CNN town hall audience: 'That's when you guys are supposed to cheer, OK?' Michele Bachmann praises Trump: Americans will 'never see a more godly, biblical president' Will Biden lead a 'return to normalcy' in 2020? MORE (R-Minn.)
Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.)
Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)
Chris Carney (D-Pa.)
Joe Courtney (D-Conn.)
Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyWatchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-Ind.)
Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)
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Baron Hill (D-Ind.)*
David Loebsack (D-Iowa)
Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.)
Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.)
Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump has had a rough October Pelosi, Schumer hit 'flailing' Trump over 'sham ceasefire' deal Romney slams ceasefire deal, calls Trump's Syria move 'a bloodstain' in US history MORE (D-Conn.)
Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)
Joe Sestak (D-Pa.)
Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.)
Adrian Smith (R-Neb.)
Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchDemocrats see John Bolton as potential star witness Democrats plow ahead as Trump seeks to hobble impeachment effort Democrats claim new momentum from intelligence watchdog testimony MORE (D-Vt.)

Didn’t return calls

Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.)
Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.)
Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)
Heath Shuler (D-N.C.)
Albio Sires (D-N.J.)
Zack Space (D-Ohio)

Didn’t return calls, but has gone**

Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.)
Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)
Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.)

*Went during previous term

**Some offices did not return phone calls regarding the survey. The Hill reviewed media articles to determine whether those members had gone to Iraq.

Has not visited

Jason Altmire (D-Pa.)
Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.)
Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell Braley2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster OPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward MORE (D-Iowa)
Kathy Castor (D-Fla.)
Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.)
Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.)
David Davis (R-Tenn.)
Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)
John Hall (D-N.Y.)
Phil Hare (D-Ill.)
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Paul Hodes (D-N.H.)
Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
Steve Kagen (D-Wis.)
Ron Klein (D-Fla.)
Nick Lampson (D-Texas)
Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.)
Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas)
Bill Sali (R-Idaho)
John Sarbanes (D-Md.)
Betty Sutton (D-Ohio)
Tim Walberg (R-Mich.)
Tim Walz (D-Minn.)
Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio)
John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump has had a rough October How Trump and Pelosi went from bad to worse On The Money: Trump signs stopgap spending bill | Shutdown fight delayed to November | Deutsche Bank reveals it has two individual tax returns tied to House subpoena | House Dems demand documents on Ukraine aid MORE (D-Ky.)