WASHINGTON — Several senators, declaring that they will be going on a "serious" mission to observe the opening of U.S.-Soviet arms control talks in Geneva this month, accused their House counterparts Thursday of making a junket out of the trip by taking spouses and stopping in Ireland on the way back.
"We'll have a stripped-down delegation--12 senators, four staffers, no wives," Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) stated. In contrast, he said, the House planned to send 16 representatives, seven aides and all the spouses who want to go.
"It's unfortunate," Warner said. "It'll be a good color story for the journalists there." In fact, a Democratic senator's aide said, the senators are considering going to Geneva a day earlier than the House group "so they won't be tarred with the same brush" of bad publicity on their arrival.
Members of the House delegation were infuriated by the charges. "That's ludicrous," Rep. Esteban Torres (D-La Puente) responded bluntly. "This is one of the most serious things I'll ever undertake."