$16K on Flowers Accents Pelosi's Spending Spree

New speaker's $3M outlay doubles her GOP predecessor's
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2007 1:00 PM CST
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has run up a $3 million tab in her first nine months of office -- about 63% more than her predecessor, Dennis Hastert.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Nancy Pelosi spent 63% more in her first nine months as House speaker than Dennis Hastert did over the same period last year—including $16,000 on flowers, the Hill reports. Republicans said the $3 million figure gave the lie to Democrats’ promises of fiscal responsibility; Pelosi aides say the costs of the transfer to a new speaker are behind the uptick.

Hastert allowed then-majority leader Tom DeLay to take some roles traditionally belonging to the speaker, the Hill writes; the spending boost indicates that Pelosi is inclined to take them back. Pelosi also employs a bigger staff than Hastert did and travels far more frequently; a spokesman says the flowers were mainly for visits by dignitaries like French president Nicolas Sarkozy.