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Boehner Nixes "Speaker Shuttle" Perk

With tears in his eyes, House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio flashes a thumbs-up after addressing an election night gathering hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. AP

Today, incoming House Speaker John Boehner effectively put a bullet in the so-called Speaker Shuttle perk.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Speakers of the House have been offered military flights to and from their home districts. Then-Speaker Dennis Hastert used military jets to go back and forth from the capitol to Illinois. Most recently, Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted the Speaker Shuttle is a security measure that she can't do without.

But it's costly to taxpayers. A one-way flight from Washington, D.C. to Pelosi's home state of California costs $28,210. Under Pelosi's watch, the perk of the Speaker Shuttle was often extended to include her family members and Democratic colleagues (who reimbursed at a Pentagon-approved commercial rate).

Today, Boehner indicated he doesn't see the same security risk as does Pelosi. He told reporters he intends to fly commercially when he travels between Washington, D.C. and his home state of Ohio, as he's always done. Like other members of Congress, Boehner's office says he may use military aircraft if he visits troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Pelosi's Speaker Shuttle: The Inside Story


In this Feb. 19, 2008, file photo, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, listens to questions from members of the Capitol press corps., following his address of the state legislature, in Juneau, Alaska. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, died in a small plane crash in Alaska, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010. He was 86. <br><br> <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/10/national/main6760220.shtml?tag=stack" class="linkIcon read"><b> Spokesman: Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens Dead in Crash</b></a> Chris Miller
Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News Investigative Correspondent based in Washington. You can read more of her posts in Hotsheet here.
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