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Congress plans to spend $550 million on luxury jets to accommodate lawmakers' travel

Staff Report • Aug 10, 2009 at 12:00 AM

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Congress is planning on spending $550 million to buy eight jets to upgrade a fleet used by federal officials.

Currently the Air Force maintains about 24 passenger jets for lawmakers, administration officials and military chiefs to fly on government trips in the U.S. and abroad. Lawmakers typically fly on these planes and military personnel bags and take drink orders. When flying on military jets, lawmakers are permitted to bring along spouses at no cost.The Air Force has not requested the upgrade planned by Congress, House members added funds for the new luxury jets added the funds anyway. Air Force documents describe the jets as an "office in the sky." The planes are configured with first-class leather seats, worktables, two large galleys for cooking and a "distinguished visitor compartment with sleep ccommodations."Lawmakers spend about $13 million traveling the world last year, a tenfold increase since 1995. Travel costs are covered by an unlimited fund created by a three-decade-old law. CLICK HERE for the full report.

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