With Congress on Break, Lipinski, Roskam, Shimkus Head to Europe
With Congress on a break, Reps. Dan Lipinski D-Ill., Peter Roskam R-Ill., and John Shimkus R-Ill., headed with other lawmakers to Europe while Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill., visited Haiti.
Lipinski and Shimkus are part of a congressional delegation traveling with House Speaker John Boehner R-Ohio.
The trip started on June 26 and runs through July 6 as the delegation visits Lithuania, Finland, Poland and Ireland.
Russian aggression in the region, other security issues, energy independence and trade were the subjects of meetings with leaders in Lithuania, Finland and Poland.
Lipinski’s spokesman, Isaac Sancken, said the lawmaker is returning to the U.S. on Friday in order to be in his 3rd Congressional District on the Fourth of July.
Lipinski was selected to be part of the congressional delegation – known as a “CODEL” – because of his leadership of the Congressional Caucus on Poland.
The Boehner group met with the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite and the Speaker of the Seimas Loreta Grauziniene.
In Poland, they met with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Foreign Minsister Grzegorz Schetyna, and Ma?gorzata Kidawa-B?o?ska, Speaker of the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament.
In Finland, they were scheduled to meet President Sauli Niinistö and Minister of Foreign Affairs Timo Soini.
In Ireland they met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the country’s prime minister, and other officials, and stopped at the Dáil Éireann, the Irish parliament.
“Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has stepped up its military presence in Poland and I support doing more to demonstrate our support for our NATO ally,” Lipinski said in a statement.
While the CODEL group travels on U.S. military aircraft, Lipinski is taking commercial flights for his return.
Shimkus, whose family roots are in Lithuania, is making his second trip there this year. He has been a frequent visitor to Lithuania during his years in Congress.
Lipinski was the only Democrat in the eight-member congressional delegation. Boehner’s office said that between meetings, “In between meetings, the delegation visited the Ronald Reagan Monument, which honors our 40th president’s role in supporting the anti-communist Solidarity movement.”
Roskam and five other House members were visiting Ukraine and Georgia this week, with details closely held for security reasons, said his spokesman, Michael Shapiro.
The trip is a CODEL “under the auspices of the House Democracy Partnership, which Mr. Roskam chairs. The group focuses on building and strengthening relationships with parliaments in emerging democracies,” Shapiro said.
Five years after a catastrophic earthquake, Durbin and Sen. Bill Nelson D-Fl., were in Haiti last weekend to assess the recovery efforts. They met with Haiti President Michel Martelly and other officials.
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