Last week, Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, unwillingly opened Pandora’s box when she announced in a letter to President Trump that she was cancelling his State of the Union address to the American people. Pelosi cited “security concerns” as a reason for making the decision to cancel his State of the Union speech. Unfortunately, for Nancy, Secret Service almost immediately rebuked her claim in the letter that because of the partial government shutdown, the Secret Service would be unable to do fully execute in their jobs to keep everyone safe.
The next day, President Trump sent Democrat Speaker of the House a letter to inform her that she and her congressional delegation would not be using a military plane to fly them to Brussels, Afghanistan, and Egypt for a scheduled public relations trip.
In his letter, President Trump slammed the entitled Speaker of the House, telling her: “I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate. I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown.”
Trump sent the multi-millionaire lawmaker’s luggage back to her House office and gave Speaker Pelosi, the option to fly on her own dime (commercial) if the trip was so important to her.
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) January 17, 2019
Fox News is now reporting about stunning abuse of our military jets by members of Congress, especially Nancy Pelosi.
When President Trump denied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi use of a military aircraft for a CODEL (congressional delegation trip) to Afghanistan, he called the public’s attention to wasteful taxpayer-funded congressional travel.
In his letter to Pelosi blocking the trip, President Trump mentioned the 800,000 federal workers going without pay. The real irony is that U.S. government workers in Afghanistan, who were among those not being paid, worked for two weeks to plan the trip – and on a holiday weekend.
In 2009, during Pelosi’s first speakership, JUDICIAL WATCH uncovered documents from the Department of Defense detailing her multiple requests for military air travel. The documents included internal DOD email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi’s numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker’s last-minute cancellations and changes.
In response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one Defense Department official wrote, “Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi’s team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?… [T]here’s no need to block every weekend ‘just in case’…” The email also notes that Pelosi’s office had, “a history of canceling many of their past requests.”
One DOD official complained about the “hidden costs” associated with the speaker’s last-minute changes and cancellations. “We have … folks prepping the jets and crews driving in (not a short drive for some), cooking meals and preflighting the jets etc.”
The documents include a discussion of House Ethics rules and Defense Department policies as they apply to the speaker’s requests for staff, spouses and extended family to accompany her on military aircraft. In May 2008, for example, Pelosi requested that her husband join her on a CODEL into Iraq. The DOD explained to Pelosi that the agency has a written policy prohibiting spouses from joining CODEL’s into combat zones.
We reported in 2010 that Pelosi’s jet travel cost the 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. Some details:
The average cost of an international CODEL was $228,563.33. Of the 103 Pelosi-led CODELs, 31 trips included members of the House Speaker’s family.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton explains the Pelosi travel scam here:
AIR PELOSI "One DOD official complained about 'hidden costs' associated with Pelosi's last-minute changes and cancellations. 'We have…folks prepping the jets and crews driving in (not a short drive for some), cooking meals and preflighting the jets etc." https://t.co/c5RqlW30WE pic.twitter.com/KdBlKxFDAZ
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) January 24, 2019
One CODEL traveling through Tel Aviv, Israel, to Baghdad, Iraq, May 15-20, 2008, included members of Congress and their spouses and cost $17,931 per hour in aircraft alone. Purchases for the CODEL 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, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.
Shutdowns aside, given that our national debt is nearly $22 trillion, it might be reasonable to ask members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, to forego both the booze and the frivolous junkets.