Toomey discloses trip after inquiry

Pennsylvania Republican attended expenses-paid conference in March

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After a conservative think tank paid for travel, lodging and food expenses for Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., during its multi-day, “off-the-record” summit at a luxury resort in Georgia, he was supposed to file paperwork with the Senate Office of Public Records detailing the costs.

Now, after questions from the Center for Public Integrity, Toomey’s office has submitted a tardy filing about the trip, which the American Enterprise Institute sponsored.

“We did have an oversight in our post-trip reporting in this case, which we have rectified,” Toomey spokeswoman E.R. Anderson said.

The Senate Ethics Committee notes on its website that all lawmakers are required to file post-trip disclosure forms “no later than 30 days following their return date.” The conference took place in early March.

Senate ethics rules do not prohibit private organizations from footing the bills for lawmakers’ trips. Only lobbyists and agents of foreign governments are generally barred from sponsoring trips. Senators are required to get permission from the Senate Ethics Committee at least 30 days in advance in order to take privately sponsored trips.

The exclusive gathering — which catered to a mostly pro-GOP crowd — allowed business leaders, wealthy political donors and elected officials to mingle in a private setting

Republican politicians such as former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ranked among the event’s headliners.

At the summit, Toomey spoke on a panel entitled “The Fed’s Long Unwinding Road,” according to an event program reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. The panel addressed questions such as “What is the best way for the Fed to exit quantitative easing?” and “What’s next for monetary policy?”

Toomey was joined on the panel by the likes of former Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh, economist Mark Zandi and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, among others.

Including Toomey, the American Enterprise Institute spent more than $50,000 on travel, lodging and meals for 18 members of Congress to attend the event, as the Center for Public Integrity previously reported.

Some politicians that attended, such as Boehner, used personal money or funds from their campaigns or leadership PACs to attend.