Thursday, January 18, 2007

US Senate legislation bars its members from using official or campaign funds to pay for non-commercial, corporate jets

Senators would be required to pay far more expensive charter rates for private air travel as per new legislation.

The was nine members of Congress which spent more than $50,000 in campaign funds in 2006 to pay for the use of corporate jets and now their ability to fly around the country on very comfy private jet and only be charged the cost of a first-class ticket is lifted.

However, the change, when enacted, will come particularly hard for senators from large western states who depend on private jets to get access to areas without proper roads or commercial flight connections.

"The taxpayer will foot the bill for the amendment, and the only real change will be more money in the pockets of those who own and operate the private planes," said Alaska's senior senator, Republican Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record).

If passed, he said, "my budget will run out in the first month or two of the calendar year. It would not permit us to travel to these remote communities throughout the year."

Stevens tried to carve out an exception for cases when there is no more than one daily flight between communities within a member's state and there was no conflict of interest involved. But he withdrew that proposal after Reid gave assurances that the government would pay the extra air travel costs.

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Source: Yahoo.News

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