Congressman to Pelosi: Give up personal jet

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A Florida congressman plans to offer an amendment to the 2011 Defense Authorization bill that would require House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to fly coach – just as she requires of other Congress members.

The California Democrat commutes across the continent in a jet provided by the military, a policy first  authorized for the House speaker following the 9/11 terror attacks.

But WND also has reported on the tabulation by corruption-fighting Judicial Watch of Pelosi’s apparent excesses on her flights.

For example, a receipt for “in-flight services” for the House speaker included a list that looked like a dream order for a wild frat party: Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey and Corona beer.

It was only part of the more than $101,000 taxpayers paid for “in-flight services” for Pelosi’s trips on Air Force jets over a two-year period, the Judicial Watch report said.

Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., announced today he applauded Pelosi’s new House rules-change that bans all members of Congress from flying first class on the taxpayer’s dime.

And to help the speaker enforce the new rules, Posey said in an announcement, he is offering an amendment to the FY 2011 Defense Authorization bill which requires the speaker to lead by example and also fly coach. The move, he said, would spare taxpayers the $28,000 it costs per flight for her personal military aircraft when she travels back and forth to herhome in San Francisco.

“I’m glad the speaker decided to create these new standards for cost savings and transparency,” said Posey. “But the rules must apply to every member in order for them to be effective and my amendment would do just that. Every time the speaker boards her personal military aircraft it costs the taxpayers approximately $28,000 a flight. The leader of the people’s House should travel just like everyone else.”

Posey said he submitted the amendment to the House Rules Committee for consideration.

It would take effect when the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 is enacted Oct. 1.

Posey also suggested the speaker’s office should work to release the House floor schedule earlier so members have enough time to make travel plans and can avoid having to make costly, last minute changes to their travel itineraries.

It was several weeks ago when Pelosi confirmed the orders for members of Congress to fly coach or economy class for flights both domestic and overseas, unless the trip is more than 14 hours.

At the time, the California Democrat told the Associated Press, “These travel policy announcements are part of our continuing effort to ensure transparency and accountability in congressional management.”

Today, her office declined to respond to a WND request for comment about the Posey proposal.

It has been reported that one estimate for travel expenses for House committees in 2009 was $8.7 million while the Senate reported about $5 million.

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