Sorry swamp, the free trips to China are off the menu.
The State Department has ended five exchange programs with China, calling them “soft power propaganda tools” of the Chinese government.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Friday statement that the department is terminating the Policymakers Educational China Trip Program, the U.S.-China Friendship Program, the U.S.-China Leadership Exchange Program, and the U.S.-China Transpacific Exchange Program and the Hong Kong Educational and Cultural Program.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The Policymakers Educational China Trip Program is aimed at Congressional staff members.
Last year’s participants included Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s communications director, Rep. Bobby Rush’s chief of staff, the deputy chief of staff for Senator John Tester, and the economic policy adviser to Senator Chris Coons.
The key thing to remember is that staffers make policy.
Your average congressperson doesn’t know very much. Especially when he first arrives. He or she is served by staffers, who don’t get paid that much, but who understand how things work, and then parlay their jobs in various benefits, from future lobbyist gigs to consultancies, and meanwhile find fringe benefits.
This is another example of the Peeps insinuate their operations into our political system.