A series of documents obtained by Judicial Watch show precisely how much money Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has spent on previous jaunts abroad, similar to the one she was prevented from going on by a White House order last week — and it isn't pretty.
The Daily Caller reports that Pelosi's CoDel trip, that was canceled at the last minute by President Donald Trump in response to the the Speaker of the House accusing the White House of abusing scarce resources by holding the State of the Union address in the midst of a government shutdown, was hardly her first trip abroad on the American dime.
A Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request seeking information about Pelosi's previous CoDel trips turned up a jaunt Pelosi took in 2015 to Italy and the Ukraine aboard Air Force planes. The total cost of the trip: $184,587.81.
The Washington Post reported on the trip at the time, seeking information specifically as to why Pelosi made a stopover in Italy part of the Congressional delegation's visit to the Ukraine which, at the time, was in the midst of a national crisis. Pelosi's trip took place in August, just a few short months after the Crimean crisis, just as the country was recovering from riots, a major revolution, and a standoff with Russian forces.
The explanation might be simple: Pelosi wanted to treat at least four members of her family to a lovely vacation. From the Caller:
Four family members, including Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi, were slated to go on the trip. The delegation was scheduled to dine at restaurants including James Beard American Restaurant in Milan, where a five-course meal cost up to $190, according to Fine Dining Lovers. The lawmakers also toured the Vatican and met up with Italian dignitaries, including President Sergio Mattarella and then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, according to their itinerary.
In addition, the trip reportedly included private viewings of the "Sistine Chapel, the Duomo, and a viewing of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper," according to CNS.
Pelosi justified the trip at the time as "intended to underscore the U.S. commitment to security in that region," according to a Politico report that questioned the need for a full delegation trip to western Europe.
In a statement on the subject, Judicial Watch notes that Pelosi's jaunt to Europe cost considerably more than other CoDel trips, including a late-2015 trip by Sen. Cory Gardner to East Asia (which included stops in notoriously expensive cities like Tokyo, Japan). That Congressional trip cost taxpayers a mere $26,009.03 because Gardner used commercial air travel and took a per diem instead of charging his meals directly to the federal government.
In fact, Judicial Watch says, Nancy Pelosi has made a habit of spending more on travel than her colleagues. Although they don't have concrete numbers, Judicial Watch estimates that Pelosi may have cost taxpayers as much as $2,100,744.59 over a single, two-year period, including a whopping $101,429.14 for "in-flight conveniences, such as food and alcohol."
Judicial Watch also revealed in 2011 that Pelosi frequently used Air Force planes to travel between Washington, D.C., and her home district of San Francisco, California, even though commercial flights from DC to SFO airport are widely available.
Leftists argued that Pelosi's CoDel trip last week was of utmost importance and that Pelosi would be visiting key locations at a "particularly sensitive geopolitical moment." Pelosi's schedule included stops at NATO's headquarters and a brief on-the-ground meeting with troops in Afghanistan following President Trump's decision to make a swift exit from the Afghani war zone. No itinerary was outlined for Pelosi's Egypt visit.
They probably shouldn't worry. It's clear that when the shutdown is over, Pelosi will make up for lost time. And travel.