Remember when members of Congress were raking the CEOs of the Big Three automakers over the coals for traveling to Washington D.C. in private jets for the Detroit bailout hearings?
Well, Congress is so hot about saving money and not looking eccentric that they ... guess what? ... bought not one, not two but three Gulfstream 550 luxury private jets. From Roll Call:
|Last year, lawmakers excoriated the CEOs of the Big Three automakers for traveling to Washington, D.C., by private jet to attend a hearing about a possible bailout of their companies. |
But apparently Congress is not philosophically averse to private air travel: At the end of July, the House approved nearly $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress.
Now, this is not a Democrat-Republican thing. It is a "do as I say, not as I do" elitist thing.
|The Air Force had asked for one Gulfstream 550 jet (price tag: about $65 million) as part of an ongoing upgrade of its passenger air service. |
But the House Appropriations Committee, at its own initiative, added to the 2010 Defense appropriations bill another $132 million for two more airplanes and specified that they be assigned to the D.C.-area units that carry Members of Congress, military brass and top government officials.
Because the Appropriations Committee viewed the additional aircraft as an expansion of an existing Defense Department program, it did not treat the money for two more planes as an earmark, and the legislation does not disclose which Member had requested the additional money.
The only thing we know is the Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) submitted an earmark request for one Gulfstream.
It would be nice if our government practiced what it preached.
You can access the complete article on-line here:
House Orders Up Three Elite Jets
August 5, 2009