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Snow Forces House to Cancel Votes

By Ben Pershing

The federal government may be open for business today, but Congress is changing its plans after the D.C. area got hit with a hefty snowstorm overnight.

The House had been scheduled to vote tonight at 6:30 p.m. on several non-controversial bills, as it often does on Monday evenings, but House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said at noon today that those votes had been bumped until Tuesday after 3 p.m. Most lawmakers would be flying back from their districts today, and the snow up and down the Eastern seaboard has wreaked havoc at several airports.

Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who typically gets to ride on a military plane, isn't immune from the effects of the weather. Her office announced this morning that she would have to cancel a planned speech at an environmental rally on the West Front of the Capitol for the 2009 Annual Power Shift Conference.

The Senate isn't voting today either, but there were already no votes on the schedule before the snowstorm hit.

By Ben Pershing  |  March 2, 2009; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Agenda  
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Let's nip this problem in the bud right now! Nancy needs a dog sled and team of huskies at her disposal for days like this, as well as a fast, luxury yacht; a high speed express train; a submarine; a hang glider, and last but not least, a sedan chair complete with a platoon of muscular fellows (or, since she hails from Frisco, a platoon of muscular females) to make certain an interuption of this nature doesn't interfere with her sacred mission of redistributing wealth. Why stop at just a military plane? I'm sure she can hide the cost of those other means of transportation next to the Harvest mouse protection and the tatoo removal, etc. It's no damn good being a queen unless you act like one. C'mon, Nancy...get 'r done!

Posted by: ddnfla | March 2, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

Posted by: atsegga | March 2, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately we hand the 30 billion to those who run the coutries and they are too corrupt to even give a part of it to their people. Then you'll come back and say, okay - we need another 29.5 billion to end world hunger. It'll never happen.

Posted by: zendrell | March 2, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi's Travel Scrutinized

Rep. Nancy Pelosi's predecessor as House speaker, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), began flying military planes for official travel in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Air Force has a stable of planes that are used for travel by the speaker, Cabinet members, top generals and for congressional trips to Iraq and other war zones.

Those planes include:

The C-21, the military version of the eight-seater Lear Jet. Its maximum range is 2,306 miles. Each plane cost $3.1 million.

The C-20B, the military version of the 12-seater Gulfstream III. Its maximum range is 4,250 miles. There are five C-20Bs based at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, near Washington, D.C. Each plane cost $29.4 million.

The C-37A, the military version of the 12-seater Gulfstream V. It's able to fly at high altitudes and therefore fly to other continents, with a 6,300-mile range. There are seven C-37As based in the United States, with four at Andrews Air Force Base. Each plane cost $36 million.

The C-40C, the military version of the Boeing 737, is used for Cabinet members and Congress. It has two galleys and a bed. There are two C-40Cs based in Washington D.C., and two at Andrews Air Force Base. Its range is 4,500 to 5,000 miles. It can hold 42 to 111 passengers, based on configuration. Each cost $70 million.

Pelosi has flown back to California once since becoming speaker. She took a commercial flight there, and returned on one of the 12-seaters.

Hastert used all of these planes except the C-40. Since he lived in Illinois, even the smallest plane could take him there without refueling. The smallest plane would not be able to reach California from Washington, and headwinds or other poor weather conditions could require the 12-seaters to stop for refueling.

Navy Cmdr. Jefrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, said Wednesday that 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.

Sources: The Air Force and the Associated Press

Posted by: fttrbob | March 3, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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