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Begich Introduces D.C. Autonomy Bills

Begich followed through with a promise made at his 52nd birthday party to help D.C. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Begich kept his birthday party promise to D.C. Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss, introducing two bills on Thursday that, if passed, would result in greater autonomy for the District of Columbia.  

Strauss called the Alaska Democrat a "man of his word," in an interview with CQ Roll Call, referring to Begich's promise to introduce legislation in early April that would grant D.C. budget and legislative autonomy from Congress.  

Congress Gets Away With Free Foreign Trips (Updated)

Some members of Congress didn't stick around Washington during the cold month of February, but they found better places to be on free trips to foreign lands.  

The big free trips during February included eleven members on the trip to Israel sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation . Another nineteen went to Cartagena, Colombia, with expenses paid by the Aspen Institute, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund . Other members went to Japan, Australia, and Belgium. The trip to Australia for one member and his spouse was worth almost $50,000.