Pelosi seeks more perks at taxpayer expense

hjmick

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Don't we, as taxpayers, pay more than enough for the substandard work these jokers give us? We pay their salary for working about 200 days a year, we pay for their offices, their health care, their retirement, their staff salaries, their travel. Now Pelosi wants us to pay for their adult children to travel with them? WTF? The system is beyond repair.

DoD braces for a fight with Pelosi
By Mike Soraghan
June 14, 2007

Pentagon officials are bracing for a fight with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over her desire to allow lawmakers’ adult children to tag along on taxpayer-funded travel for free.

Pelosi wants them to be able to fill the role of lawmakers’ spouses when the latter are unable to make a trip because of health issues or work commitments.

“It has been longstanding policy that, in the absence of a congressional spouse, the adult child of a member of Congress may accompany the member on official U.S. government travel abroad for protocol reasons and without reimbursing the U.S. Treasury,” Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said. “Speaker Pelosi believes that a modern policy must reflect the professional responsibilities or health realities that might prevent a spouse from participating, and instead permit an adult child to fulfill the protocol needs of the official trip.”

Pentagon officials say the policy is that the Treasury must be reimbursed at commercial rates for children who accompany members on such trips, often called codels.

Pelosi’s office inquired about such travel on June 1, according to a Department of Defense memo obtained by The Hill.

In a June 8 memo, the head of legislative affairs for the Pentagon, Robert L. Wilkie, told Defense Secretary Robert Gates that he sees Pelosi’s question as a first step toward challenging the policy.

“We were told that the Speaker would expect that members’ children (of married and unmarried [members of Congress]) would not have to reimburse the Treasury,” Wilkie wrote. “We expect future challenges from the House leadership on this policy.”

Pentagon aides did not respond to requests for comment.

But taxpayer watchdog groups and ethics advocates said they were surprised Pelosi would seek more perks for members.

“One of the things she was praised for when she came in was her sweeping reforms on gifts and travel,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen. “It is very disheartening if she is, in fact, backsliding on this.”

Public Citizen filed a complaint with the IRS last year, saying that family members who receive free travel by accompanying lawmakers should pay taxes on the travel’s value. The complaint focused on privately sponsored travel, but Holman said it should apply to taxpayer-funded travel as well.

“I don’t see any difference,” Holman said.

In its first week with a Democratic majority this year, the House passed what Pelosi called “the toughest congressional ethics reform in history.” It forbade gifts and travel from lobbyists and banned travel on corporate jets. It did not address publicly funded travel such as codels.

Lawmakers’ children currently can travel gratis if they get a waiver, termed an “invitation,” from the secretary of defense, according to Dan Stanley, a former assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Pentagon. He said it was rare for a lawmaker to travel with his or her children.

...

The president’s family, such as President Bush’s twin daughters, can travel without reimbursement. They cannot fly commercially for security reasons.

more...
 

Annie

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Don't we, as taxpayers, pay more than enough for the substandard work these jokers give us? We pay their salary for working about 200 days a year, we pay for their offices, their health care, their retirement, their staff salaries, their travel. Now Pelosi wants us to pay for their adult children to travel with them? WTF? The system is beyond repair.
This is just wrong. Hey, when my ex-husband traveled or my dad on business, they had to pay for the spouse to go. Granted, the hotel room was a gimmee, but plane fare and meals, etc., that was the price for going. The wives were invited to social dinners, but that was open to all, whether in private residence or dining establishment.
 

jillian

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This is just wrong. Hey, when my ex-husband traveled or my dad on business, they had to pay for the spouse to go. Granted, the hotel room was a gimmee, but plane fare and meals, etc., that was the price for going. The wives were invited to social dinners, but that was open to all, whether in private residence or dining establishment.
Really? When my mother traveled with my father on those occasions she joined him on a business trip, the company covered it. And when I joined my husband on a business trip, his company paid for me. Granted, it was Wisconsin in winter, but it was a spa and it was nice. In any event, I certainly didn't pay for the plane fare.

A more relevant question is what similar perks have been extended to others who had Pelosi's office.
 
OP
hjmick

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A more relevant question is what similar perks have been extended to others who had Pelosi's office.
The last paragraph of the article more or less addresses this question.

But most executive-branch officials either do not bring family members on military aircraft or reimburse, Stanley said.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would fly with his wife back to Taos, N.M., he said, but was scrupulous about reimbursing.
And prior to that paragraph, in the portion I posted:

Lawmakers’ children currently can travel gratis if they get a waiver, termed an “invitation,” from the secretary of defense, according to Dan Stanley, a former assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Pentagon. He said it was rare for a lawmaker to travel with his or her children.
 

Annie

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Really? When my mother traveled with my father on those occasions she joined him on a business trip, the company covered it. And when I joined my husband on a business trip, his company paid for me. Granted, it was Wisconsin in winter, but it was a spa and it was nice. In any event, I certainly didn't pay for the plane fare.

A more relevant question is what similar perks have been extended to others who had Pelosi's office.
Cool, fess up, which company? I'm sure the IRS would love to know.
 

actsnoblemartin

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I agree, nancy pelosi, is scum, for doing this.

This is just wrong. Hey, when my ex-husband traveled or my dad on business, they had to pay for the spouse to go. Granted, the hotel room was a gimmee, but plane fare and meals, etc., that was the price for going. The wives were invited to social dinners, but that was open to all, whether in private residence or dining establishment.
 

actsnoblemartin

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I agree with kathianne, the shareholders probably didnt even know they were paying for it.

im sorry, but i think jillian is just being partisan here.
 

red states rule

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Really? When my mother traveled with my father on those occasions she joined him on a business trip, the company covered it. And when I joined my husband on a business trip, his company paid for me. Granted, it was Wisconsin in winter, but it was a spa and it was nice. In any event, I certainly didn't pay for the plane fare.

A more relevant question is what similar perks have been extended to others who had Pelosi's office.
So now the US taxpayers has to pay for families of Dems?

I thought Dems promised to REDUCE Congressional perks?

Oh well, just another promise Dems have broken to the saps that believed them
 

red states rule

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Don't we, as taxpayers, pay more than enough for the substandard work these jokers give us? We pay their salary for working about 200 days a year, we pay for their offices, their health care, their retirement, their staff salaries, their travel. Now Pelosi wants us to pay for their adult children to travel with them? WTF? The system is beyond repair.
Dick Morris wrote this and was published today


Dick Morris

Dems like GOP — like nepotism
By Dick Morris
June 20, 2007
Anyone who wonders why Congress has a job approval rating of 23 percent, seven points lower than even Bush’s, need only look at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) failure to change the ethics of the Congress. Having pledged to make Congress full-time and put the lackadaisical members to work, she then announced a schedule for 2007 in which House members will have 20 weeks off (and when they work, it’s Tuesday to Thursday most of the time).

Now Pelosi has come up with her own version of the No Child Left Behind program by asking the Defense Department to allow adult children of members of Congress to accompany them on their taxpayer-funded travel abroad if their spouses can’t make it. Such heartfelt concern for the lonely congressman on a publicly paid junket may be her version of family values, but it is a waste of tax money.

To understand the depth of the abuse of taxpayer-funded travel, look at one of Pelosi’s favorites, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). Miller has been to the following places for free on the taxpayer’s dime between 2000 and 2006:

Mexico, Lebanon, Cambodia (twice), Israel (twice), Vietnam (twice), Jordan, South Africa, Iraq, France, Italy (twice), Hong Kong, Sudan (twice), Taiwan, Ghana, Laos, Liberia, Egypt and Cape Verde.

And Miller does not belong to any congressional committee that deals with foreign relations! During the same period, he has been to 20 other countries for free, paid for by the Aspen Institute. In all, Miller has spent 161 days traveling courtesy of Aspen.

Pelosi’s proposal — and the abuse of free travel by members like Miller — explains why voters can’t stand Congress and illustrates how little improvement there has been under the Democrats.


for the complete article

http://thehill.com/dick-morris/dems-like-gop--like-nepotism-2007-06-20.html
 

SolarEnergy1

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Dick Morris wrote this and was published today


Dick Morris

Dems like GOP — like nepotism
By Dick Morris
June 20, 2007
Anyone who wonders why Congress has a job approval rating of 23 percent, seven points lower than even Bush’s, need only look at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) failure to change the ethics of the Congress. Having pledged to make Congress full-time and put the lackadaisical members to work, she then announced a schedule for 2007 in which House members will have 20 weeks off (and when they work, it’s Tuesday to Thursday most of the time).

Now Pelosi has come up with her own version of the No Child Left Behind program by asking the Defense Department to allow adult children of members of Congress to accompany them on their taxpayer-funded travel abroad if their spouses can’t make it. Such heartfelt concern for the lonely congressman on a publicly paid junket may be her version of family values, but it is a waste of tax money.

To understand the depth of the abuse of taxpayer-funded travel, look at one of Pelosi’s favorites, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). Miller has been to the following places for free on the taxpayer’s dime between 2000 and 2006:

Mexico, Lebanon, Cambodia (twice), Israel (twice), Vietnam (twice), Jordan, South Africa, Iraq, France, Italy (twice), Hong Kong, Sudan (twice), Taiwan, Ghana, Laos, Liberia, Egypt and Cape Verde.

And Miller does not belong to any congressional committee that deals with foreign relations! During the same period, he has been to 20 other countries for free, paid for by the Aspen Institute. In all, Miller has spent 161 days traveling courtesy of Aspen.

Pelosi’s proposal — and the abuse of free travel by members like Miller — explains why voters can’t stand Congress and illustrates how little improvement there has been under the Democrats.


for the complete article

http://thehill.com/dick-morris/dems-like-gop--like-nepotism-2007-06-20.html
Dick Morris writes some good stuff. I love reading his columns.
 

William Joyce

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Aren't liberals like Pelosi the ones always bashing "dynasty" and "estate" and heritage and so on? It seems that by inviting libbie children along with libbie parents, you perpetuate the tyranny of liberalism.
 

jillian

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The last paragraph of the article more or less addresses this question.



And prior to that paragraph, in the portion I posted:
Pelosi is Speaker of the House -- third in the line of succession -- not a cabinet member and presidential appointee.

I'd opine that it's "rare" (not unheard of, btw) for a lawmaker to travel with their children because most lawmakers aren't women.

Mostly, I think it's a non-issue.
 

red states rule

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Pelosi is Speaker of the House -- third in the line of succession -- not a cabinet member and presidential appointee.

I'd opine that it's "rare" (not unheard of, btw) for a lawmaker to travel with their children because most lawmakers aren't women.

Mostly, I think it's a non-issue.
You would think the hypocrisy of the left is a non issue
 

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