Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Congress Went To Denmark, We Got The Bill

This is disgusting, especially in the middle of a national recession:

(CBS) Thanks to recently filed Congressional expense reports there's new light shed on the Copenhagen Climate Summit in Denmark and how much it cost taxpayers.

CBS News Investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson
reports official filings and our own investigation show at least 106 people from the House and Senate attended - spouses, a doctor, a protocol expert and even a photographer.

For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That's $2,200 a day - more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment.

CBS News asked members of Congress and staff about whether they're mindful that it's public tax dollars they're spending. Many said they had never even seen the bills or the expense reports...

Total hotel, meeting rooms and "a couple" of $1,000-a-night hospitality suites topped $400,000.

Flights weren't cheap, either. Fifty-nine House and Senate staff flew commercial during the Copenhagen rush. They paid government rates -- $5-10,000 each -- totaling $408,064. Add three military jets -- $168,351 just for flight time -- and the bill tops $1.1 million dollars -- not including all the Obama administration officials who attended: well over 60.

In fairness, many attendees told us they did a lot of hard work, and the laid groundwork for a future global treaty.
Now obviously global climate change is a serious problem that requires action on the part of every major government around the world so I'm not trying to vilify those who are working to make headway on this important issue but come on, people! This incident and many others like it prove that there needs to be a vetting process for all congressional expense reports over a certain dollar amount and that it needs to be much more than the mere formality of a rubber stamp, even if those reports are filed by the House Speaker herself as they were in this instance. I realize that tax dollars must often be spent in order to deal with the myriad problems facing this nation and the world at large but there's no reason that this can not be accomplished with at least a minimal level of accountability from our elected officials. And for me it's just one more reason amongst many to dislike Nancy Pelosi a bit more than I do already.

1 comment:

Leslie Parsley said...

Spouses? No way. I don't have a problem with them going as long as they pay for it. I think a doctor has to travel with the president wherever he goes and having a photog along has been the norm for a long time. But "all" those administration officials? Nah.