A Heap of Hawaiian Luxury for Lawmakers and Many of Their Wives

Eight lawmakers took off for the tropics for a conference on U.S.-China relations.


Aloha, Congress.

Eight lawmakers, most with spouses, enjoyed Four Seasons luxury in the Hawaiian island of Lanai in March, courtesy of the nonprofit Aspen Institute. They were there for a conference on U.S.-China relations.

Their reported tab: $65,294, according to public disclosure forms.

The lawmakers were Sen. Dan Akaka of Hawaii, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, Rep. Gary Ackerman of New York, Rep. Norm Dicks of Washington, Rep. Michael Honda of California, Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, and Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky.

Seven lawmakers brought wives—and their expenses were covered, too. Honda traveled solo. The conference kicked off the day after Easter, March 24, and ran through March 29. Most stayed the duration; some members of Congress tacked on an extra day or two at their own expense.

The strikingly beautiful setting, complete with two world-ranked golf courses: The Lodge at Koele.

U.S. News examined where lawmakers traveled over the Memorial Day break, including 17 members who enjoyed a five-night stay in Rome with a tab that hit nearly $263,000.