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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton's recent trip to Israel with his wife was the third most expensive privately financed trip a member of Congress has taken in the past 15 years, according to Legistorm.

The political news service reported that the $36,000 week-long trip sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, the charity arm of pro-Israel lobbying giant the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, included about $14,000 for transportation and $4,000 for lodging and meals. Security expenses of $7,000 were included in the rest of the $18,000 in costs.

On the trip, the Republican from Arkansas met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.

Cotton also ate Sabbath dinner with a family that moved to Israel from the United States 15 years ago. And he visited the Golan Heights, a long-disputed mountainous region along the Israel-Syria border.

In 2014, the American Israel Education Foundation was the largest sponsor of trips by members of Congress, spending more than $1 million on 89 trips throughout the year, according to Legistorm.

2016 CANDIDATES

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee campaigned in Iowa. On Friday, he and several other Republican candidates for president spoke at the New Hampshire Housing Summit. He held a rally in North Carolina on Saturday and to speak today at a candidate forum in Plano, Texas.

After the Democrats' first debate Tuesday evening in Las Vegas, Hillary Rodham Clinton met Wednesday with members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and held a rally. Thursday, she held a town hall meeting at Keene State College in New Hampshire. On Friday, she campaigned in Atlanta.

She is scheduled to appear today on CNN's State of the Union with host Jake Tapper. The show airs at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Clinton is scheduled to attend an event in Alexandria, Va., on Friday.

DELEGATION

Congress returns this week after a weeklong break.

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., spoke at the Saline County Lincoln Day Dinner. On Thursday, he toured Mahle Engine Components USA Inc. and Taber Extrusions LLC in Russellville.

U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., visited the U.S.-Mexico border Monday and Tuesday, making a stop in Laredo, Texas, with U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.

On Wednesday, Hill spoke at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's College of Business Distinguished Alumni luncheon. On Friday, he visited the North Little Rock Fire Department.

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., toured Manna Food Pantry in Newport with Newport Pentecostal Church of God pastor Jay Cox and met with county judges from Cross, Jackson and Poinsett counties on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, he hosted an Ag-Tech Symposium in Jonesboro. Crawford spoke Thursday at the Jonesboro Rotary Club, visited Piggott Municipal Airport, met with Corning Mayor Rob Young and toured Lawrence County Future Farmers of America's Farm to School Lunch Program.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., attended an assembly at Flippin High School, spoke to the Bull Shoals-Lakeview Rotary and visited the Boone County Extension office in Harrison on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he spoke at the 60th Midwest Groundwater Conference in Bentonville, and at the Northwest Arkansas Certified Commercial Investment Member luncheon.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., visited several 4th District tourism sites last week, including historic Washington State Park in Hempstead County, Hot Springs National Park in Garland County, Mount Magazine State Park in Logan County and the Buffalo River Outdoor Center and Hawksbill Crag in Newton County. The tour wraps up Monday in Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Polk County and Crater of Diamonds State Park in Pike County.

EDUCATION GRANTS

Two predominantly black Arkansas colleges were among 23 schools nationally that split $13.7 million from the U.S. Department of Education last week.

Arkansas State University Mid-South in West Memphis received $599,998, and Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock received $599,758.

SundayMonday on 10/18/2015

Print Headline: Trip by Cotton put at $36,000

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