In December 2009 Pelosi led at least 20 members of Congress (and many of their spouses and children) on an all-expenses-paid trip to attend a global-warming summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. The delegation was so large, that three military jets were required to transport its members. A number of Senators and staffers also made the trip, courtesy of taxpayer dollars, via commercial airliners. Although Pelosi was personally responsible for deciding who went on this trip, she subsequently refused to answer any reporters’ questions regarding the cost of the trip. According to CBS News, the estimated cost of the three military jets’ flight time was $170,000. In addition to that was the cost of dozens of commercial flights, hundreds of hotel rooms (many at five-star facilities), and tens of thousands of dollars in meal and entertainment expenses. At the time, Pelosi’s home state of California had a $20 billion budget deficit.
According to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, during 2008-2009 Pelosi incurred expenses of some $2.1 million for her use of Air Force jets for travel — including $101,429 for in-flight expenses such as food and alcohol. She regularly used Air Force aircraft to travel to her district at an average cost of $28,210.51 per flight. Of 103 Pelosi-led congressional delegations during the two-year period, 31 trips included members of her family.
In January 2010, when Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid were leading the rancorous process by which Democrats were seeking to pass halth care reform legislation, Pelosi said the following:
You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.
In March 2010, Pelosi stated that she wished to avoid a House vote on health-care reform because the legislation would be defeated in that chamber. “Nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill,” she said. Thus she supported the so-called Slaughter Solution. Under the plan, the House would vote on a procedural motion, that is, the “rule” that is supposed to govern debate on a matter going before the House. In this case a “self-executing rule” would be used that would “deem” the Senate version of ObamaCare to have been passed. Thus lawmakers would be able to vote to approve the Senate version of the health care legislation –complete with unpopular add-ons such as Senator Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback” and Senator Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana Purchase” — and then be able to tell their constituents that technically all they had done was approve a procedural motion.
Also in March 2010, Pelosi told the American public:
You’ve heard about the controversies within the [health care] bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting. But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.