GOP in a huff about Pelosi plane request

first_imgHastert, an Illinois Republican, flew in a small commuter-size jet. Pelosi and her aides say that because her congressional district is in California, her security would require a larger plane that can fly coast to coast without refueling. “It’s not a question of size, it’s a question of distance,” Pelosi said. “We want an aircraft that can reach California.” Navy Cmdr. Jefrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, said Pelosi would be offered “shuttle service for no more than 10 passengers between Washington and San Francisco only based on aircraft availability.” “This does not guarantee nonstop transport,” Gordon said. Rep. Adam Putnam of Florida, the No.3 Republican leader, said he supported the tradition of House speakers having access to secure airplanes with secure communications because of their spot in the presidential line of succession. But he called Pelosi’s desire for a large transport “an extravagance of power that the taxpayers won’t swallow.” White House spokesman Tony Snow said that after the 2001 suicide hijackings, the Pentagon, with White House consent, agreed to provide military transport to the speaker of the House. “What is going on is that the Department of Defense is going through its rules and regulations and having conversations with the speaker about it,” he said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Republicans on Wednesday assailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request for access to an Air Force transport plane as an extravagance, though former Speaker Dennis Hastert flew in a military jet as well. Republicans are taking issue with the size of the plane. Pelosi had asked for access to a C-32 plane, a military version of the Boeing 757-200. A Defense Department spokesman said Wednesday that the Pentagon informed Pelosi’s staff she would be provided with a plane but that its size would be based on availability. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Pentagon agreed to provide the House speaker, who is second in the line of presidential succession, with a military plane for added security during trips back home. last_img

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