House Speaker-to-be Boehner will fly commercial

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the likely incoming speaker of the House, told reporters today he will break with recent tradition and not use a military jet to fly between Washington, D.C., and his district.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., currently travels in an Air Force Gulfstream V, following in the footsteps of her Republican predecessor, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, who started using Air Force planes to travel after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Military planes were ruled essential to ensure security of the speaker, who is second in the line to assume the presidency, but Boehner said Wednesday he felt safe enough flying commercial.

“I have talked to our security folks about the security that is involved in my new role,” Boehner told reporters on Wednesday. “But over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my district on a commercial aircraft and I’m going to continue to do that.”

Last year, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained government documents that showed the Gulfstream V costs $6,000 per hour to operate.

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