Tony Snow, House Sergeant At Arms Rebut Right-Wing Attacks On Pelosi

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"Tony Snow, House Sergeant At Arms Rebut Right-Wing Attacks On Pelosi"

You know the right wing has gone off the ledge when even Tony Snow can’t stand by their attacks.

During today’s White House press briefing, Snow beat back the false claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wants to misuse government resources. Snow called the conservative attacks a “silly story,” arguing that it is “important for the Speaker to have this kind of protection and travel.

SNOW: I’ll just repeat our position, which is, as Speaker of the House, she is entitled to military transport, and that the arrangements, the proper arrangements are being made between the Sergeant of Arms office in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Department of Defense. We think it’s appropriate, and so, again, I think this is much ado about not a whole lot. It is important for the Speaker to have this kind of protection and travel. It was certainly appropriate for Speaker Hastert. So we trust that all sides will get this worked out.

Also today, House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood released a new statement emphasizing that it was he — not Pelosi — who requested she use an aircraft capable of flying non-stop to her district in California to “ensure communications capabilities and also enhance security.”

In a post 9/11 threat environment, it is reasonable and prudent to provide military aircraft to the Speaker for official travel between Washington and her district. … The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable. This will ensure communications capabilities and also enhance security. … I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue.

UPDATE: Watch Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) using Snow’s words to squash the plane story on the House floor.

Digg It!

Read the full Sergeant at Arms statement:

Statement of the House Sergeant at Arms

As the Sergeant at Arms, I have the responsibility to ensure the security of the members of the House of Representatives, to include the Speaker of the House. The Speaker requires additional precautions due to her responsibilities as the leader of the House and her Constitutional position as second in the line of succession to the presidency.

In a post 9/11 threat environment, it is reasonable and prudent to provide military aircraft to the Speaker for official travel between Washington and her district. The practice began with Speaker Hastert and I have recommended that it continue with Speaker Pelosi. The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable. This will ensure communications capabilities and also enhance security. I made the recommendation to use military aircraft based upon the need to provide necessary levels of security for ranking national leaders, such as the Speaker. I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue.

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