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January 26th, 2010
Congress Went to Denmark, You Got the Bill

(CBS) Thanks to recently filed Congressional expense reports there's new light shed on the Copenhagen Climate Summit in Denmark and how much it cost taxpayers.

CBS News Investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkissonreports official filings and our own investigation show at least 106 people from the House and Senate attended - spouses, a doctor, a protocol expert and even a photographer.

For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That's $2,200 a day - more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment.

CBS News asked members of Congress and staff about whether they're mindful that it's public tax dollars they're spending. Many said they had never even seen the bills or the expense reports.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is a key climate change player. He went to Copenhagen last year. Last week, we asked him about the $2,200-a-day bill for room and food.

"I can't believe that," Rep. Waxman said. "I can't believe it, but I don't know."

But his name is in black and white in the expense reports. The group expense report was filed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. She wouldn't talk about it when our producer tried to ask.

Pelosi's office did offer an explanation for the high room charges. Those who stayed just two nights were charged a six-night minimum at the five-star Marriott. One staffer said, they strongly objected to no avail. You may ask how they'll negotiate a climate treaty, if they can't get a better deal on hotel rooms.

Total hotel, meeting rooms and "a couple" of $1,000-a-night hospitality suites topped $400,000.

Flights weren't cheap, either. Fifty-nine House and Senate staff flew commercial during the Copenhagen rush. They paid government rates -- $5-10,000 each -- totaling $408,064. Add three military jets -- $168,351 just for flight time -- and the bill tops $1.1 million dollars -- not including all the Obama administration officials who attended: well over 60.

In fairness, many attendees told us they did a lot of hard work, and the laid groundwork for a future global treaty.

"It was cold… I was there because I thought it was important for me to be there," Rep. Waxman said. "I didn't look at it as a pleasure trip."

But considering the size of the deficit, and the fact that that no global deal would be reached -- critics question the super-sized U.S. delegation -- more than 165 -- leaving the impression there's dollars to burn. In this case, more than a million.


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This is a perfect expmale of just how stupid the Dumbcrate people that were elected to run our country are. This idiot Rep. Jim Moran D. VA. proves just how stupid he really is !*Note that he is bragging just how good the economy has been in the last Seven years under the Republican administration….. I thought it has been so lousy according to what Obama was preaching to his choir..GOD help us and let this great nation survive these idiots elected to run this Nation!Read on…Porker of the Month: Rep. Jim Moran Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) November Porker of the Month for remarks he made during a speech on October 27, 2008 in which he praised the idea of wealth redistribution and maligned the idea that people who create wealth should be entitled to keep it. Rep. Moran, who entered politics soon after graduate school, stated in part, “Now, in the last seven years, we have had the highest corporate profit ever in American history, highest corporate profit. We’ve had the highest productivity. The American worker has produced more per person than at any time. But it hasn’t been shared and that’s the problem. Because we have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in this simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth.” CAGW President Tom Schatz responded, “Rep. Moran’s punitive conclusion about creating wealth reflects the prevailing ethos of the current Congress. His remarks offer a window into the soul of the congressional leadership and offer a bare-knuckled preview of the kind of confiscatory policies taxpayers can expect now that there are even fewer fiscal conservatives on Capitol Hill.”
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