FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Times are tough - very tough - for millions of Americans... but you could never tell by watching the way Congress spends our tax dollars on themselves.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/12/art.pelosi.copenhagen.jpg caption="Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Steny Hoyer (right) and Rep. Henry Waxman at a press conference in Copenhagen last month during the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference."]
CBS News has a stunning report on the all-expense paid trip at least 20 members of Congress made to the Copenhagen climate summit last month.
The bipartisan delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was so large - it needed three military jets - two 737s and a Gulfstream Five. Some members brought along their spouses, children... plus there were also senators and staff members who made the trip to Denmark - most of them flying commercial.
Pelosi wouldn't answer any questions about costs or where they all stayed - even though she was the one who decided who went. Her office says only that it will "comply with disclosure requirements."
CBS puts the cost of military jet flying time at nearly $170,000 plus the cost of dozens of commercial flights... hundreds of hotel stays, many at the five-star Marriott... and tens of thousands of dollars in meals.
This is a disgrace - the national unemployment rate is at 10-percent, with employers cutting more jobs than expected last month. People are suffering. In California, Pelosi's home state is faced with a $20-billion deficit. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget plan would force 200-thousand children off low-cost medical insurance... end in-home care for more than 300,000 sick and elderly citizens... and cut income assistance to hundreds of thousands more.
This nation is hurting - but Nancy Pelosi can use three military jets for a December trip to Copenhagen and then refuse to answer any questions about it.
Here’s my question to you: How much do members of Congress feel the pain of the American people in this recession?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Ann from New Jersey writes:
They are immune to any kind of pain. Their egos get in the way. They can give themselves raises while a lot of people are losing homes and going bankrupt because they lost their jobs, and while seniors on Social Security don’t get increases even though Medicare costs and supplement costs continue to rise. They do for themselves and the rest of us can fly a kite.
JW from Georgia writes:
Congress pains over steak in their dining hall while Americans eat bologna. Congress pains to travel in jets while America fixes their aging cars. Congress pains to pay no Social Security while Americans cough up Congressional retirements. Poor Congress. Must be very painful.
Del from California writes:
Zero. I live in California and I thought our state representatives did not understand, but this is ridiculous. How disgraceful!
Art from Rutland, Vermont writes:
What economy? What recession? Unemployment? They're all employed. They're all millionaires. Hey, the economy is chugging along for them. Nothing to see here. As far as they're concerned, the matter is closed.
Jack, The Congress hasn't felt the pain of the American people suffering through this horrible economy at all! Nancy Pelosi is just one more instance of that. She is so out-of-touch with the American people, it’s as if she was from another planet! I live in California and can't wait until she is voted out of office. Pelosi and Reid are running this country into the ground (in China).
Not a bit. When was the last time a member of Congress had to choose from McDonald's dollar menu when dining out?