Nany Pelosi, after recently taking heat for blowing $101,000 on in-flight services like booze and beer, says that unofficial perks in the House of Representatives must come to a stop:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday announced that lawmakers should fly in coach unless a flight is more than 14 hours. Government money, provided to lawmakers per diem on congressional delegations, can only be used for â€œofficial purposes related to the trip,â€ and spouses cannot travel on the governmentâ€™s dime.
Pelosi also installed Stacee Bako, a retired Air Force lieutenant, to oversee congressional travel.
The high cost of congressional travel was exposed in a series of stories in The Wall Street Journal earlier this year. The newspaper reported that 12 members of the House went to Edinburgh, Scotland and spent thousands of dollars on renting a hotelâ€™s presidential suite to stash beer, liquor and snacks.
Several lawmakers on overseas trips, according to the Journal, spent some of their per diem funds on gifts.
Several other measures also were put in place, according to a letter Pelosiâ€™s office released Friday. Travel is only to be authorized â€œwhen it is necessary to facilitate the work of the committee.â€ Delegations are to be led by the majority party, and there must be a â€œdocumentedâ€ effort to invite members of the minority.
It seems that Ms. Pelosi’s conscience has gotten the best of her and that she has realized that wastefully spending taxpayer dollars on unnecessary travel, parties and gifts might not be appropriate. Or, it may simply be the fact that 2010 is an election year and Ms. Pelosi and other House members can now tote their spending cuts to unsuspecting voters in November.