And the Queen Bee of Congressional Travel is none other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Put aside her travel to and from her San Francisco district. It's safe to say she's logged more miles and on bigger planes to international destinations than any of her predecessors.
It was sort of a joke when Pelosi first started demanding an upgrade in jets to take her to wherever she had the whim to go. Nancy Says: "Fly Me!",Air Force Three for Queen Pe-lo-si?, and Broom Stick One! were among the best laughs we shared at the woman who demanded more privileges than any Speaker before her.
But even then, few of us knew the details of how much more she was demanding. We do now.
Judicial Watch obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)which chronicle the growing travel lust of the Speaker and the widening list of demands for all congressional travel.
Take a look at the passenger manifests for March 2007 trip to Ireland and Great Britain (PDF page 31). And another to Great Britain, Italy and Spain in March 2008 (PDF page 29)
The chart below is for House travel for May 2007 (PDF page 78):
"It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable...The speaker will want to know where the planes are..." wrote Kay King, Director of the House Office of Interparliamentary Affairs. (PDF page 92)The situation really came to a head prior to the July 4th recess with a shortage of planes that prompted Speaker's Pelosi's aid to write:"This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset [s]peaker." (PDF page 104) That section is particularly fascinating to read if you want to get the fullest flavor for the air greed of Pelosi and friends.
While Americans are told to tighten their belts and endure not only economic bad times but dramatically higher taxes it's clear our Imperial Speaker and her Democrat colleagues are living it up like there is no tomorrow.
There's only one way to put a stop to this and that day comes in November 2010!