The Washington Times - August 20, 2012, 09:05AM

A number of freshman Republican lawmakers — including one without a bathing suit — went for a late-night dip in the Sea of Galilee during a fact-finding mission in Israel last year, according to a report in Politico.

According to sources, about 20 people took part — some fully clothed, some partially disrobed. But Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder apparently decided to go in in his birthday suit.


“A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel,” Mr. Yoder said in a statement. “After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit.”

The Sea of Galilee, a holy site for Christians, is where Jesus supposedly walked on water, according to the Bible.

Other lawmakers involved include Florida Rep. Steve Southerland and his daughter, New York Rep. Rep. Tom Reed and his wife, Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle, California Rep. Jeff Denham, and New York Rep. Michael Grimm.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California were also on the trip but apparently did not take part in the proceedings. According to the report, Mr. Cantor rebuked 30 lawmakers as a result. The FBI reportedly investigated whether inappropriate behavior occurred, but its probe apparently did not result in formal allegations.

Alcohol may have play a part in the incident, several people said privately.