A prominent government watchdog is asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others in Congress to give up their “booze” and “junkets” in light of the government’s $22 trillion debt.
Not to mention her previous expenditures totaling more than $2 million for such trips, including more than $100,000 for in-flight services and alcohol.
The spirits bought by taxpayers 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.
The request comes from watchdog Judicial Watch.
He said she needed to be in Washington to negotiate a plan to end the partial government shutdown. She stayed in Washington, but still refused to negotiate.
Trump had written to her: “Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.”
It was all part of a tit-for-tat that she started with her recommendation he provide his annual State of the Union in writing. He ended the fracas when he accepted her decision to deny him entry to the House and said he would deliver his speech after the shutdown ends.
Judicial Watch said, “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.”
It was Judicial Watch that, during Pelosi’s previous term as speaker, obtained government records documenting her expenditure of more than $2 million on such trips in just two years.
Her plan for a junket to Europe was just another in a long line, the organization said.
“We at Judicial Watch were not at all surprised by this foolishness. For years we have been exposing the lucrative travel our leaders enjoy at taxpayer expense. We have long noted Pelosi’s abuse of the perks of public office that granted her access to luxury military travel. This current expedition is hardly new for her.”
Judicial Watch said: “In 2009, during Pelosi’s first speakership, we 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.
Part of the tab for alcoholic drinks on a congressional trip arranged by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
“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.'”
The Defense Department at that time pointed out the “hidden costs” of prepping jets, assembling crews, preparing meals and more, even if Pelosi would abruptly then cancel the flight.
Judicial Watch said at the time that the documents included 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 CODELs into combat zones.”
For the two-year period ending in 2010, her jet travel cost taxpayers $2,100,744.59, including $101,429.14 for “in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.”
The watchdog reported the average cost of her international trips was nearly $230,000, and of the 103 trips, 31 included members of her family.
“One [trip] 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.
Even after she was removed from power in 2010, she turned in bills of $184,5887.81 for her junket to Italy.
WND reported at the time her staff demanded that the Air Force provide strawberries on her flight, because it was her birthday.
Not just any strawberries: chocolate-covered strawberries. “Dark chocolate preferred.”