When CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson dug into the latest House expenses filing for the climate confab, she found that the cost for a hotel room for the congressional delegation of 15 Democratic and six Republican members of Congress and 38 staffers was $2,200 per person per day -- more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgages. In addition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members flew on three military planes, at an estimated cost of $168,000. Many staffers, however, flew on commercial airlines, at fares ranging from $4,163 to $10,038.
The tab for the House delegation -- not including the military planes -- was $553,564. We still do not know the price tag for the 60-plus administration officials who, like President Barack Obama, attended the summit. Ditto the unknown bill for the two senators -- John Kerry, D-Mass., and James Inhofe, R-Okla. -- and 30-plus Senate aides.
I asked Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill about the $2,200-a-day tab. "We don't get to pick the hotel we stay in," he answered; the State Department picks hotels for congressional delegations, and it chose a five-star Marriott with a six-night minimum during the summit -- hence the $4,406-per-room tab for a 48-hour stay. My journalist pal Ola Tedin of Ystad, Sweden, suggested, "They would have found a better deal in Malmo, Sweden," where many attendees stayed. No, I am told, the delegation worked nonstop and didn't have time for the 35-minute train ride.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
It's easy to be cavalier with other peoples money when you can spend it like this with impunity.
Posted by traderrob at 5:33 AM