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Nancy Pelosi Will Fly Commercial, Too

3 years ago
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If you're planning to fly after the new year, you may find a familiar face next to you on your next flight to San Francisco. That's because Speaker Nancy Pelosi will no longer have access to military aircraft and will instead fly commercial to her district after she becomes House minority leader, her office confirmed to Politics Daily.

For the last four years, Pelosi has had access to Air Force planes to jet home to her California district, one of the many perks that come along with being the most powerful member of the House of Representatives and second in line to the presidency after the vice president.

Pelosi's predecessor, former Speaker Dennis Hastert, also used military jets to travel back and forth to his Chicago district, but Rep. John Boehner, the next speaker, announced earlier this month that he will fly commercial home to Ohio, a move that will help him avoid the political heat Pelosi has taken for using the ultra-convenient option of skipping commercial flights home.

But if Pelosi's flying experience is anything like Boehner's in the future, she still won't have to worry about pat-downs and security lines. The New York Times reported last week that Boehner skipped the security line at Washington's Reagan National Airport before a trip to Cincinnati because of a Transportation Security Administration regulation that lets congressional leaders or members of Congress with armed security details bypass security check points.

Although she'll lose her military flying privileges, her security detail may be one of the perks (if armed guards can be considered a perk) that Pelosi will likely keep. Her staff does not discuss the security precautions she takes, but Boehner does have security as the minority leader and, as a rule, the Capitol Police provide security for any members of Congress who could have a heightened threat against them.

The other changes that Pelosi and her fellow Democrats in the leadership can expect next year will come in the form of reduced resources, specifically the offices where they'll work in the Capitol and allowances to hire staff. For staffing, the House allocates a lump sum to each party's leadership for salaries and expenses, which the leaders divide among themselves. Based on the current allocations, Pelosi can expect to have her staff allowance cut by about 40 percent to lead the smaller Democratic caucus.

And instead of the elegant suite of offices that Pelosi's team currently occupies, complete with french doors to an outdoor balcony, wood-burning fireplaces, and a majestic view of the National Mall, Pelosi and her staff will squeeze into a significantly smaller set of rooms overlooking the far less glamorous Library of Congress.

If there's any good news for Pelosi, besides the fact that she is still the leader of her party in the House, it's that her move to minority status may not be permanent.

History buffs will remember that Texas Democrat Sam Rayburn, the longest-serving House speaker in history, won and lost the speakership three times, trading power and perks with Republican minority leader and then Speaker Joseph Martin Jr. in the 1940s and 50s. The two swapped roles so many times that Rayburn eventually told Martin to keep the mall-facing speaker's offices, even after Rayburn won back the majority, because he had tired of packing and unpacking his boxes every time he won or lost an election.

The plush office suite remained in the minority's hands until the Republican revolution of 1994, when Newt Gingrich took over as speaker and decided that the prime real estate should belong to the speaker once again.
Filed Under: The Capitolist

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raydon

This is another part of the detachment that congress persons have. They don't have to live with the mandated health plan; don't have the same provision for pension plans; they voted not to give a cost of living increase for social security payments, but gave themselves a raise, and now they don't have to go through security check points. They act like they are an elite club. Oh! they are.

November 30 2010 at 6:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
allisonisa39e

She is to important to have to follow the laws that pertain to the rest of the citizens. No pat downs for her or her guards who carry guns to protect this valuable person. Who would want to feel her up or who would pay for a copy of her body scan ????

November 30 2010 at 3:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
allisonisa39e

Pelosi, an avowed anti-gunner, travels with guards that carry guns, even on airplanes. I guess she feels she is to big to fail. The laws she wants do not apply to her. She has the perk of special health care and a guaranteed big pension.

November 30 2010 at 3:37 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Georgia

Nancy Pelosi is not the only or first Speaker to fly on US aircraft for free. Dennis Hassert, from Chicago, always used the US jet and so did Newt Gingrich, from Georgia. Noone made a fuss until Nancy started using the plane. She flew further, to California, but she always invited other congressional leaders to fly with her (some were even Republicans) when she used the plane. Nancy Pelosi is a strong woman and will continue to fight for middle America and the poor. The main reason John Boehner is going to continue to fly commercial is he doesn't want to listen to the uproar when he flies from golf course to golf course.

November 29 2010 at 4:02 PM Report abuse -14 rate up rate down Reply
cowens99

Is it not correct , that the 2econd in line is required to have military air craft on the ground and available , in case of emergency? Thus John Boehner says he will fly commercial, his military aircraft will fly along with his commercial flight. So the taxpayers are spending money to secure the commercial aircraft, and still paying the bill for the military aircraft. Any adults left in America, if you can find the flag, grab it and run. ,

November 29 2010 at 2:25 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cowens99's comment
Silent Josh

That is the truth. The Speaker of The House always needs military aircraft at the ready for emergency situations. So yes, pretty much wherever he goes, military craft will be at the ready anyway, so really, it's all for show from Boehner.

November 29 2010 at 8:01 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
brikar1

Pelosi is a vile person, rich,very spoiled, and out of touch with the average American and another example of the fact that the rich men dance while the poor men pay the band

November 29 2010 at 2:23 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to brikar1's comment
cowens99

Obviously, you have Nancy mistaken for Sarah Palin. Speaker Pelosi is a wonderful and brilliant woman, who has passed historic legislation. She understand middle America and the poor better than anyone on the hill. Stay tuned, she will probably return as Speaker, after the impending GOP/tea bag disaster headed for the hill.

November 29 2010 at 2:36 PM Report abuse -20 rate up rate down Reply
marktateusa

About time. She felt she was above the rest of Americans and didn't need to fly on commercial air.

November 29 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to marktateusa's comment
cowens99

Do you want the second in line to be trying to book a flight on commercial aircraft, after a disaster that eliminates the President and VP. The law, requires that aircraft accompany the second in line, if Boehner flys commercial, the military plane, by law, has to go with him, plus all the military aides. Any press flying on the Speakers plane, are charged 1 1/2 times first class airfare. You listen to the right wing media demons, they actually do not report the facts or the truth. You would really get upset, Hillary has to fly on her plane, that's the way it is. Why are you so full of hatred? May our lord Jesus enter your life and make you a smarter and better person.

November 29 2010 at 2:42 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
rkb1030

Just like congress exempted themselves from the health care program, congress has exempted themselves from pat downs. They say both programs are necessary, so why do they feel they don't have to participate in them?

November 29 2010 at 10:58 AM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
gawboats

i CAN NOT understand a group of so called inteligent folks relecting the pelosi person to the same posistion knowing that she is so disliked by the general population. just another slap at us who pay there salarys. as in we (dems)dont really care what you think. gary just a plain ole country boy

November 29 2010 at 9:35 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
willi149s

TSA better make sure they have someone not allergic to silicon or botox ready to pat this prize down...can't wait to see how long it takes before her xrays are being offered on ebay...welcome to our world Nancy...

November 29 2010 at 1:27 AM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply

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