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Travel regulations don't touch executive branch officials

Ken Dilanian of USA Today reports that many executive branch officials regularly still accept trips from companies and associations which stand to benefit from the agencies' decisions. Although members of Congress cannot accept these sorts of gifts according to the newly passed ethics bill, the restrictions do no apply to other branches of government. "More than 200 trips during the 12-month period [April 2006 to March 2007], however, were paid for by corporations or trade groups that are regulated by, or do business with, the department or agency." While these trips are permissible as long as there is no conflict of interest, records show that the interpretation varies widely.

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