AP: Lawmakers Belatedly Disclose Trips - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - Scrutiny of Majority Leader Tom DeLay's travel has led to the belated disclosure of at least 198 previously unreported special interest trips by House members and their aides, including eight years of travel by the second-ranking Democrat, an Associated Press review has found.
At least 43 House members and dozens of aides had failed to meet the one-month deadline in ethics rules for disclosing trips financed by organizations outside the U.S. government.
The AP review of thousands of pages of records covered pre-2005 travel that was disclosed since early March. That's when news stories began scrutinizing DeLay's travel, prompting lawmakers to comb through their files to make sure they had disclosed their travel.
While most of the previously undisclosed trips occurred in 2004, some date back to the late 1990s. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer recently disclosed 12 trips, the oldest dating back to 1997.
Stacey Bernards, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Democrat, said the office searched the files after the travel issue was raised initially by 'Republicans doing opposition research to deflect from their own ethical issues.'
Hoyer's undisclosed trips were nearly doubled by Rep. Ellen Tauscher (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., with 21. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., reported 20 past trips and Rep. Elijah Cummings (news, bio, voting record), D-Md. reported 13.
Republican and Democratic House members were nearly equal rules violators in failing to disclose their personal trips within 30 days after the trip's completion. There were 23 GOP members, 19 Democrats and 1 independent, all of them months or years late in their reporting to the House public records office.
Staff members for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., disclosed 11 prior trips, while staff members for DeLay, R-Texas, had 4. Rep. Joh"
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