Boehner's Travels

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is shown at the Cannon House Office building Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, after being elected majority leader of the House of Representatives Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006. He was elected to replace indicted Rep. Tom DeLay. AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News anchor and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.



When the big congressional bribery scandal broke and it looked like the chief briber, Jack Abramoff, was going to name names, members of Congress raced to call for reform.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert called for banning all congressional travel, gifts and meals paid for by others. Amen, cried Democrats and Republicans alike.

But then the Dubai port deal caught the public's attention and reform slid off the front burner and now right off the stove.

John Boehner, the Republican's new majority leader said, whoa, the Speaker has gone too far with this reform stuff. Friday we found out why.

The Center for Public Integrity said if you add up the days Boehner spent over the past five years on trips paid for by others, it comes to six full months AND he took 45 trips on corporate jets.

Be assured that Boehner would tell you what they all tell you. These gifts had NO effect on how he voted. But here's my question, Mr. Boehner: Do you really believe anyone would buy you a plane ticket -- or even a bus ticket -- if you were not in Congress? Do you really believe they would keep laying out all that money if they didn't think they were getting something in return?

Congress is drowning in a sea of corruption but has become so used to it, members can't see what they've done wrong.

Here's what I see from the shoreline. People are fed up. If Congress doesn't clean up this mess, a lot of them are going to get beat. But even then, I wonder if they'll understand why.





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By Bob Schieffer
  • Patrick Kiker

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