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Here’s how the Massachusetts delegation spends its time

Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation split their time between here and the capital.
Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation split their time between here and the capital.Mark Tenally/Associated Press

The Globe recently asked each member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to share information about how many nights they spent here versus elsewhere, such as Washington, D.C., where they obviously must be to do key aspects of their jobs. Here’s a little more of what they shared with us.

Representative Katherine Clark of Melrose, who is a member of the House Democrat’s leadership team and held a key role in Democrats’ 2018 successful effort to flip the House: “Congresswoman Clark lives in Melrose with her family. With the exception of some (pre-pandemic) travel to support her colleagues, Representative Clark is in her district when Congress is not in session,” a spokeswoman said.

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Representative Bill Keating of Bourne: Keating spent the most nights in Massachusetts out of the entire delegation. One contributing factor: In December 2018 he had very delicate eye surgery that required a month of recuperation. A subcommittee chairman on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Keating also went on five separate official congressional trips, or “CODELs,” for a total of 22 nights abroad.

Representative Stephen Lynch of South Boston: Lynch’s office provided data just for 2019. In addition to the 180 nights he spent at home in his district, Lynch spent 129 nights in D.C. and 37 nights engaged in “official” travel, including CODELs he led as chairman of the National Security Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Reform panel to Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. He also in 2019 went on five other CODELs.

Representative Jim McGovern of Worcester: McGovern is chairman of the House Rules Committee, which sets the parameters for debate over every bill that reaches the House floor, including which amendments will receive votes. A McGovern spokesman said that his boss needs to be ready at a moment’s notice to convene the committee, which means he often has to be in Washington before many of his colleagues. During the two-year period the Globe looked at, McGovern spent 298 nights in Washington and 18 nights on official congressional trips, in addition to the 411 nights he spent back in Massachusetts.

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Representative Seth Moulton of Salem: In addition to his congressional duties, Moulton also ran for president, announcing his candidacy in April 2019 and withdrawing in late August. His office said Moulton spent 389 nights in Salem, 173 nights in Washington for congressional duties, and 160 nights on the road for other congressional business, political events, and personal travel.

Among that latter category are several CODELs, including trips related to Moulton’s work as the co-chair of the Future of Defense Task Force, part of the House Armed Services Committee. While working to prepare the report, Moulton and other task force members have traveled to military installations and other national security sites in the country, as well as to Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, a spokesman said.

Representative Richard Neal of Springfield: Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Neal reported spending 448 nights in Massachusetts, where he owns a home in Springfield, and about 174 days in D.C. His travel out of state is due to responsibilities as committee chair and obligations to the Democratic Party, said a spokesman.

Representative Ayanna Pressley of Boston: Pressley was sworn in on Jan. 3, 2019, so she didn’t have two years’ of information to share. Of the 17 months she did have, Pressley spent 292 nights in Massachusetts. In addition to congressional business in D.C., Pressley traveled as a surrogate for Senator Elizabeth Warren during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

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Representative Lori Trahan of Westford: Trahan also was sworn in Jan. 3, 2019. In the 17-month period her data covers, she spent 342 nights in her district. “She almost always takes the first flight back to Massachusetts following her last vote,” a spokesman said.

Senator Elizabeth Warren: You may have heard, she ran for president in 2019. She launched her exploratory committee on Dec. 31, 2018, and spent much of 2019 and 2020 as a top-tier contender. She ended her bid on March 5, 2020.

In addition, she traveled on CODELs, including trips to China, Japan, South Korea, Afghanistan, UAE, Iraq, and Puerto Rico.

During COVID, she and her husband have driven back and forth between D.C. and Massachusetts — and they’ve spent more weekends in D.C. when the Senate is in session to cut down on total travel time.



Victoria McGrane can be reached at victoria.mcgrane@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @vgmac.