Consider this story from The Hill about John Boehner’s decision to fly commercial airlines between Washington, D.C. and Ohio.
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), the presumptive Speaker-elect of the House, will not use a private jet as Speaker for trips back and forth to his home district, he said Wednesday.
“Over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my district on commercial aircraft, and I’m going to continue to do that,” Boehner told reporters at a press conference.
The statement signals the first time since 2001 that a House Speaker has traveled commerically between Washington and their home district.
Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Speaker of the House, third in line to the presidency, was assigned a designated Air Force jet to shuttle them back and forth to their home districts on weekends.
Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) used the jet, as does Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). In 2007, Pelosi requested, and received, a larger jet than Hastert had used — this one capable of flying between Washington and California without stopping to refuel.
A spokesman for Boehner said the Minority Leader had already spoken to security officials about his desire to travel commercially on the weekends, and that he would still use military transport for certain types of trips, like those to Afghanistan or Iraq.
That’s why he’s running for the Speaker of the House uncontested. This is a serious man of principle.
On the other hand, Nancy Pelosi wasted millions ferrying herself and her family around the world on military aircraft, all at taxpayer expense.
We recently obtained new documents from the United States Air Force detailing Speaker Pelosi’s use of United States Air Force aircraft between March 2009 and June 2010. And they pretty much tell the same, outrageous story as previous documents we’ve uncovered and released.
Here are the highlights from the newest batch of documents, which we obtained pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on January 25, 2009:
- Pelosi used the Air Force aircraft for a total of 85 trips, covering 206,264 miles, from March 2, 2009 through June 7, 2010. Pelosi, her guests and Air Force personnel logged a total of 428.6 hours on these flights.
- Members of Pelosi’s family were guests on at least two flights. On June 20, 2009, Speaker Pelosi’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons joined a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to San Francisco International Air Port. That flight included $143 in on-flight expenses for food and other items. On July 2, 2010, Pelosi took her grandson on a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, which is northeast of San Francisco.
According to previous documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol. Seriously, review these documents for yourself and you can see that Nancy Pelosi repeatedly turned indispensible Air Force aircraft into congressional party planes.
For example, purchases for one Pelosi-led congressional delegation traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewar’s scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.
The article also notes that Pelosi would reserve military aircraft all the time, and cancel her reservations at the last minute.