Newly elected Senator Marco Rubio (R -FL), recently went on a trip to the war zone of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. As you can see in the picture, it is a very inhospitable land comprised mostly of rocky mountainous regions seperated by barren desert. While it is nice to see my Freshman Florida Senator jumping in and getting to “work” up in DC, I have to call in question the viability of these expensive trips, especially by our members of Congress. When they are flying around the world to other countries, they are not here in our Senate taking care of real business.
I was curious as to just what they accomplished, or hoped to accomplish, on this taxpayer funded trip when I saw this headline in The Miami Herald, accessed on 1/18/2011. * The article initially starts out with the announcement of his first overseas trip as a U S Senator, then goes on to give us some insight on just what they witnessed while over there :
“Finishing his first overseas trip as a U.S. senator, Marco Rubio on Monday warned the Obama administration against setting an “artificial timeline” for the United States to leave Afghanistan.”
“Everywhere we went, from the markets to the streets, to Afghan authorities . . . what we heard repeatedly is that it’s important that it’s clearly understood that the U.S. is committed to seeing this through,” Rubio told reporters in a conference call from Kabul. “Otherwise, there’s a sense that the Taliban, even al Qaeda, is just waiting for us to leave so they can move back in.”
I make the observation here, that this is the same old song and dance we have heard from other politicians for what, 5, 6, or 7, years ? So far I see zero substantial results from this trip that would justify this expense. I can see future self-grandeurizing politicians standing on the Senate floor bragging about , “When I was in Afghanistan,I saw this and that.” To which I always end up asking myself, ” Just what are our U S Senators doing flying around the world for in the first place? ” We have a State Department, a Department of Defense, the CIA, thousands of soldiers, and Military Commanders there on the ground, all writing reports on what is happening in Afghanistan. Do we really need to have 535 politicians flying over there too ? Maybe the newly empowered, tyrannical, unelected government minions over at the EPA should look into this type of pollution, instead of clamping down on wood stoves and the like? Do the people actually know this is going on and how much it costs the taxpayer? The Miami Herald goes on to list just who all went on this trip:
“Rubio — who returns to Florida on Tuesday — toured U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, and fellow Republican freshmen from Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. Rubio had lunch with troops from Florida stationed in Kabul and had dinner Sunday night with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The group also met with Gen. David Petraeus and toured Kabul Military Training Center, which is training Afghans for its National Army.”
A total of six politicians flying around the world, including four new freshmen Senators. That is very expensive people. Am I asking too much to think these freshmen Senators would better serve the people by digging in and getting to work learning the ropes in the Senate? Senate Minority Leader McConnell should be ashamed of himself for these kind of nonsensical expenditures, especially at a critical time when there are major issues we need to address here at home. I,m also disapointed in my Senator Rubio in agreeing to go on this trip. What part of cutting Government waste do these “representatives” not understand? Ground all politicians, make them stay here and take care of the business they were elected to do!