Inhofe is top traveling lawmaker in Okla.

Sept. 6, 2009 at 9:32 PM
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is the top frequent flier in the state's congressional delegation, with 10 trips abroad since 2007, The Oklahoman said Sunday.

Inhofe traveled to every continent, mostly to Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, the newspaper said.

Along with other members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation, Inhofe often flies on planes provided by the Department of Defense. Lawmakers use military aircraft for safety reasons when their destinations are war zones, but the planes are also used to make trips to Europe and Australia.

The military does not provide a record of its costs, the newspaper said.

When Inhofe travels to Africa, he usually takes at least one staff member. He has called those trips "a Jesus thing," explaining he holds prayer meetings with African leaders, and pursues both humanitarian and national security interests on the continent.

He also travels often to the Middle East as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"My frequent visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, NATO allies including Poland and Czech Republic, our Combined Joint Task Force in Djibouti, as well as visiting a number of countries in Africa, provide an invaluable perspective," he said.

Inhofe said he visits with Oklahomans in the armed services abroad.

Oklahom's congressional delegation is comprised of two U.S. senators and five members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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