There are times when the hypocrisy in Congress rises to a level that being the most hardened beltway bandit winces. That moment came this week when members of congress expressed outrage and shock Consumer Product Safety Commission chief Nancy Nord haad accepted free trips from companies. Newspapers have reported that “since 2002, Nord and former chairman Hal Stratton have taken nearly 30 trips paid for in full or in part by the manufacturers of toys, home appliances, fireworks and other products that the agency regulates.”
That is a terrible practice that Nord should legitimately be held to account for in her delayed confirmation. However, members have been practicing their best Claude Rains roles in exclaiming shock, shock. For literally decades, public interest groups called for Congress to end the practice of allowing organizations to send them and their families on free trips to Europe, Las Vegas and other hot spots as part of sham “educational trips.” Many of these same members did nothing and quietly fought the reforms. For a prior column, click here.