Washington (CNN) - House Republican Leader John Boehner said Wednesday that he plans to continue to fly commercial airplanes to and from his Ohio home even after he becomes House speaker in January–a change from Speaker Pelosi's current use of military planes.
"I have talked to our security folks about the security that's involved in my new role. But over the last 20 years I have flown back and forth to my district on a commercial aircraft and I am going to continue to do that," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill.
When Nancy Pelosi became speaker in early 2007 she began flying home to California on military aircraft, following the practice of previous speakers, like her GOP predecessor Dennis Hastert, who used Pentagon planes to go home to Illinois. Republicans criticized Pelosi at the time, accusing her of wasting of taxpayer money and requesting a much larger plane than others used.
But House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood, who handles security for House leaders, released a statement at the time responding to that criticism, explaining that he had requested larger military planes for Pelosi's cross-country trips. In February 2007, Livingood said, "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."
As the top GOP Leader, Boehner already has a U.S. Capitol Police security detail that travels with him, but he when he takes the gavel as speaker, his security, as Pelosi's did, will grow larger. The speaker of the house is second in line to the president of the United States.