Congress Went to Denmark, You Got the Bill

Generic Nancy Pelosi Copenhagen expense report CBS/AP

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 Attkisson reports 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.

Million Dollar Congressional Trip
Read the Congressional Expense Report

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.

Copenhagen Congressional Junket

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.

(CBS)


Attendees
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Pelosi's husband
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Rep. George Miller
Rep. Henry Waxman
Rep. Ed Markey
Markey's wife
Rep. Charles Rangel
Rep. Bart Gordon
Rep. James Sensenbrenner
Sensenbrenner's wife
Rep. Sander Levin
Rep. Joe Barton
Barton daughter
Rep. Fred Upton
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Rep. Diana DeGette
Rep. Jay Inslee
Inslee's wife
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
Rep. Moore Capito husband
Rep. John Sullivan
Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. GK Butterfield
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
Gifford's husband
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
President Obama
Sen. James Inhofe
Sen. John Kerry
Stacee Bako
Don Kellaher
Wilson Livingood
Brian Monahan
John Lawrence
Karen Wayland
Drew Hammill
Kate Knudson
Bridget Fallon
Bina Surgeon
Mary Frences Repko
Nona Darrell
Tony Jackson
Josh Mathis
Phil Barnett
David Cavicke
Lisa Miller
Peter Spencer
Andrea Spring
Lorie Schmitt
Greg Dotson
Alex Barron
Christopher King
Shimere Williams
Tara Rothschild
Margaret Caravelli
Gerry Waldron
Ana Unruh-Cohen
Jeff Duncan
Eben Burnham-Snyder
Joel Beauvais
Michael Goo
Tom Schreibel
Harlan Watson
Bart Forsyth
Ed Rice
Steve Rusnak
Carey Lane
Matt Dempsey
Dempsey wife
George Sugyama
Tom Hassenbohler
31 additional unnamed Senate staff

State Dept:
Special Envoy Todd Stern
Secretary Hillary Clinton
Pershing Deputy U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change
Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
Ambassador Alejandro Wolff, Deputy Permanent Rep. United States Mission to the U.N.
Daniel Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment
Lilburn Trigg Talley, Director of the office of Global Change
Sue Biniaz, Deputy Legal Adviser
William Breed, Director of Climate Change Programs USAID.
Energy Dept:
Steven Chu, Energy Secretary
Jean Chu, Spouse of the Energy Secretary
Rod O'Connor, Chief of Staff
Amy Bodette, Special Assistant to the Secretary
David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs
Rick Duke, Dep. Assistant Sec. for Policy and International Affairs
Holmes Hummel, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Policy and
International Affairs
Elmer Holt, Economist in the Office of Policy and International Affairs
Matt Kallman, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Policy
and International Affairs
Dan Leistikow, Director of Public Affairs
Devin Hampton, Lead Advance Representative
Interior Dept:
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
Deputy Secretary David Hayes
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland
Science Advisor Kit Batten
Senior Advisor of Global Change at USGS Tom Armstrong
USGS Director Marcia McNutt
Deputy Communications Director Matt Lee-Ashley
Jack Lynch (Security)
Dave Graham (Security)
Mike Downs (Security)
Director of Advance Tim Hartz

EPA:
Security Officer # 1 Security, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Marcus McClendon Director of Advance, Office of the Administrator
Security Officer # 2 Security, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Jennifer Jenkins Physical Scientist, Climate Change Division, Office of Air and Radiation COP 15 Negotiator
Shalini Vajjhala Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of International Affairs COP-15 Negotiator
Maurice LeFranc Senior Advisor, International Climate Change, Office of Air and Radiation COP-15 Negotiator
Kimberly Todd Klunich Technical Expert, Climate Change Division, Office of Air and Radiation COP-15 Negotiator
Leif Hockstad Environmental Engineer, Climate Change Division, Office of Air and Radiation COP-15 Negotiator
Seth Oster Associate Administrator, Office of Public Affairs
David McIntosh Associate Administrator, Office of Rep.ressional and Intergovernmental Relations
Michelle DePass Assistant Administrator, Office of International Affairs
Security Officer # 3 Security, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Lisa Jackson Administrator, EPA
Gina McCarthy Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation

White House Executive Office staff:
From the Office of Energy and Climate Change:
Heather Zichal
Tony Russell
Jake Levine
Joe Aldy

From the Office of Science and Technology Policy:
John Holdren
Steve Fetter
Shere Abbott

From the Council on Environmental Quality:
Nancy Sutley
Amy Salzman
Jess Maher

National Security Council:
Mike Froman
Ed Fendley

Communications:
Ben LaBolt
  • Sharyl Attkisson On Twitter»

    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.

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