Speaker Nancy Pelosi was criticized on this blog and other sites for her failure to end various corrupt practices such as pork and congressional travel. Indeed, Pelosi added jets to ferry members abroad on junkets and used a personal governmental jet to go back and forward to California. Now, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has announced that he will take commercial flights. Regardless of whether you opposed the GOP in the elections, it is important to give credit to such reforms. Boehner is to be commended for this symbolic change.
The report on curtailing or ending earmarks also may indicate that the GOP is serious in pushing some reforms long demanded by good government advocates. Pelosi allowed the opportunity to pass — one of many — after the Democrats took control. She could have, for example, eliminated the public-sponsored vacations disguised as congressional fact-finding missions to Europe and other areas. She didn’t. If Boehner is willing to take such steps, he should receive well-earned praise. The use of commercial aircraft would be a good first step.
Boehner appears, however, to have yielded to pressure to preserve earmarks after discussing a ban. Of course, you can still have pork without earmarks so there remains the question of whether Boehner can control his rank and file in continuing the wasteful practices in the budget.
The most important step that Boehner could take in this area is to sharply curtail congressional travel budgets. I, for one, wish him the best in taking advantage of his election to implement real reforms.
53 thoughts on “Boehner Promises To Fly Commercial As Speaker”
I did not make any statements whether security is still needed for whomever is the Speaker, but in light of the recent mail bomb attempts, it might be smarter to have the speaker continue to use the military jets as Hastert and Pelosi have been using.
The 2008 factcheck article (Updated 2009):
Two things I gleaned from the article gave me reason to pause.
(1) The need to stop for fuel should only take place on the trip home. Would the Speaker really be heading home during a time where a fuel stop would present a serious security risk?
(2) It’s only used for business. Does the Speaker become less of a target when traveling for personal reasons?
I can see the call for increased security immediately following 9/11, but does that need still exist today? If the reason for using military airlift is security, why not use it all the time?
We shouldn’t be playing games with a need for security. If it exists, take it seriously; all the time.
If you are asking about Boehner’s slight of hand, it is more of the same. He and his fellow Teapublicans willl do anything to stop Obama and the Dems. The sad part is that Obama and the Dems are doing plenty on their own to stop their own agenda.
It didn’t benefit anyone politically.
Perhaps a better way of phrasing my response to BBB would have been “My question” instead of “The question.”
With such an obvious distraction, I think both of us agree that the REAL “The question” is, what slight of hand are we being distracted from?
The question is why wasn’t former Speaker Hastert’s use of the same plane for security reasons attacked and lied about like it has for Speaker Pelosi?
And the White House is caving,not even putting up a fight.Pityful.
Frank Mascagni III 1, November 11, 2010 at 11:17 am
“Is this the “revolution” you speak of?”
The tables haven’t quite started to turn,but they will.People are seeing that these so called representatives are not representing us.Some have known it and some had it cross their minds but now they really see it for what it is.
Yes I did. By the way, the question isn’t “Is it more cost effective for a person to fly government or private.” It’s “Is it more cost effective for the Speaker of The House to fly government or private.”
I assume there’s some added costs that aren’t included in the price of a single ticket: how many of her staff flew with her; what would be the cost of getting the same security on a private flight that she gets using military flights; what’s the difference in travel time; does she generally work on the military flight, would she be able to do so on as effectively on a private flight; etc.
So I ask again, has anyone run the numbers?
Has anyone checked into the veracity of the inference that Pelosi abused the jet privileges since she has become Speaker? I am a bit surprised that Prof. Turley would not check to find out that Speaker Hastert was issued a jet to travel to Illinois after 9/11 and this rumor of Pelosi using a big plane to go to San Francisco started when the Sargeant at Arms of the House expressed concern that the military Gulfstream used by Hastert did not have a long enough range to get her to California without a stop for refueling. This dates back to 2007 according to factcheck.org. http://www.factcheck.org/2010/02/extras-biblical-derivatives-teleprompters-and-pelosis-plane/ She uses the exact same plane that Denny Hastert used. Mr. Boehner is a lying sack of crap and is making this claim of flying commercial when he knows that he will be using the military jets for security reasons. Let’s stick to the facts. Happy Veterans Day to all.
I find it hard to believe that the USSS will allow the third person in line for the Presidency to fly commercial
Bush made it policy for the Speaker to have military transportation when involved in official business.
I call shenanigans
I wish they would understand that the Tea Partiers just teabagged the lot of them. Maybe that’s the bad taste they are talking about?
After some quick research I have to say that travel via commercial airline is definately more economical.
“Speaker Pelosi’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period, including $101,429 for in-flight expenses.”
A last minute roundtrip first class non-stop flight from D.C to San Francisco, leaving tomorrow and returning on Monday, costs just under $3000.00. Even if she made the flight every weekend it would only cost about $150K in total.
Been home waiting for repairman today. Been on this blog too long as the democrat haters are out in full force today. Time to go for a long bike ride.
Gyges “I’m too busy to do much in the way of research, has anyone actually run the numbers to see if this actually saves money?”
Are you asking if traveling via government jet is more economical than traveling via commercial airline?
@rcambell, I can not defend the position of these “teabaggers” you are infatuated with because I do not know anyone that is a “teabagger”, as you apparently do.
As for conservatives, we do abhor Bush debt levels and the even higher Obama debt levels, and we will oppose raising that debt level to the extent we can.
The difference is that the people in the TEA party movement, conservatives and new Republicans are not lead by a political party like progressives are. We lead the political party, the way is was intended to be.
I know you will misinterpret my comment and will call me some name to try and insult me, feel free to do what ever helps you accept your failed ideology. I know this new thought is a bit uncomfortable for you to understand, but the people are not blindly following the media or the government any longer, we are now thinking for ourselves.
This is politics, facts have no place here.
I’m too busy to do much in the way of research, has anyone actually run the numbers to see if this actually saves money?
You mistake “ignorance” for “hypocrisy”. But then again, you also often mistake both as fact so it’s not a huge failure considered in context.
I’ll type this slowing so you can understand it.
The teabaggers were either unwittingly duped by the GOP (Greed Over Principles) by claiming to abhor the Bush debt levels and now supporting an outrageous increase in that debt or they are complicit in this scam on Americans. Which is it? I’m anxious to hear your “intelligent” defense of that kind of lunatic logic.
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