Off the Record

Greta: Lawmakers miss a chance for bipartisan bonding

'Off the Record,' 3/31/15: Even trips for codels - congressional delegations - can be rife with partisanship. How disappointing

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record" for a minute. I have defended CODEL - that's shorthand for congressional delegations. That's those trips members of the House and the Senate take during their recess to some far away place. And for the most part, it's travel to important strategic places. Right now, Speaker Boehner is leading the CODEL Middle East, Minority Leader Pelosi to Asia, and Majority Leader McCarthy to Tunisia and Ukraine.

Now, I know many of you think these CODELs are just vacations on your dime. But even if all the lawmakers enjoy themselves, I can defend that. On CODELs, members of both parties can be stuck together on an airplane for 8 to 12 hours. And when that happens, they eventually get so bored they actually talk to each other and for the first time, they get to know each other and stop hating each other. That's important. So, the next time highly contested of legislation is being debated, maybe they will think twice before just fighting simply because they hate the other guy for being in the other party. Now, that's important for the nation.

But alas, Majority Leader McCarthy brought seven lawmakers, only one was a Democrat. Minority Leader Pelosi brought nine lawmakers, only one Republican. And Speaker Boehner brought nine lawmakers, not one was a Democrat.

So much for bipartisan bonding. Huge missed opportunity. They disappoint me. How about you? And that's my "Off the Record" comment tonight