Eric Cantor can write the rules, but the House has to approve them … so when the new session started, the first order of business was to “reform” the House Rules … including a simple little insertion which allows House Members to fly on corporate jets. Previously, House Members were generally barred by House gift rules from accepting free flights on private aircraft and by other provisions of the House rules from using personal or official funds to pay for such flights unless the Member or a family member owned or leased the plane. There was also language changes so that what was previously allowed for a spouse can now be granted to any “relative” — defined to include all the way down to a Member’s first cousin.
Majority Leader Cantor wrote the resolution and asked for approval … which a majority of Republicans including John Kline approved.
Flying in private planes can make things a whole lot easier especially when there may not be a lot of direct routes … for example, from Washington DC to the sacred lands of the Santa Ana Pueblo where the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa is located (between Santa Fe and Albuquerque at the base of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico).
Sounds like an idyllic location for a getaway from the anger of the agricultural community for failure to move a farm bill … and so it is that media reports :
A secretive meeting involving Gov. Susana Martinez, former Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor ended Tuesday as quietly as it began at a locked down Tamaya Resort on Santa Ana Pueblo.
The unannounced event, which apparently began over the weekend, had much if not all of the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort booked in advance, with traffic blocked on the road into the secluded, luxury site.
The registration of a private airplane parked at the Cutter Aviation airfield in Albuquerque on Monday was traced to a company affiliated with politically active Kansas billionaires David and Charles Koch, according to KOB-TV.
Offering some additional reporting was Politico :
Rob Tappan, a spokesman for Koch Industries, the chemical, oil and manufacturing conglomerate controlled by Charles and David Koch, confirmed that the brothers held the meeting but declined to comment on specifics. The company has referred generally to past seminars as efforts to convene “some of America’s greatest philanthropists and most successful business leaders whose companies have created millions of jobs” to “discuss solutions to our most pressing issues and strategies to promote policies that will help grow our economy, foster free enterprise and create American jobs.”
The invitation-only seminars bring together wealthy donors to mingle with, and hear presentations from, Republican elected officials, conservative dignitaries and leaders of right-leaning groups backed by the Kochs’ network. They usually run from Sunday through Tuesday morning, and take place under extremely tight security, with organizers and guests sometimes renting out every room in the host hotel.
Sorta tells a lot about who runs the country … and to think that Eric Cantor must get on another plane next week to travel to Israel at the expense of the American Israel Education Foundation, a non-profit branch of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Pity poor Tim Walz and Rick Nolan who pleaded on the House floor for the House to remain in session, both asking the same question : What business owner shuts the door and goes home before finishing critical work?
Apparently the answer is that the “people’s work” is not in the interest of the Koch Brothers, AIPAC, et al.