Ice Bucket 2010

Last week I wrote about one of the symbolic changes that Republicans made when they took back the House in the 1994 elections, the end of the daily ice deliveries to offices in the Congress.

And I wondered what the 2010 version of that was going to be.

Well, we got our answer yesterday in terms of GOP frugality. 

Speaker-to-be John Boehner says he won't be using the same military jet service that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) have been employing in the wake of the Nine Eleven attacks.

"Over the last twenty years, I have flown back and forth to my district on commercial aircraft and I'm going to continue to do that," Boehner told a group of reporters camped out just off the House floor.

Congressional security officials evidently gave Boehner the okay to fly back to his district near Dayton, Ohio, presumably with a few hulking security aides making sure that no one bops the Speaker with a suitcase.

The news came as Boehner joined with Rep. Greg Walden (R-OH), who is leading a team of Republicans in looking at ways to streamline the work of Congress, and most importantly, to find ways to save money.

So far, the GOP has offered up very few specifics on how things might change, other than pledging to install TV cameras in the House Rules Committee, which has always been a difficult panel for reporters to cover.

But yesterday, a few more things started to leak out, like one unique idea about the House schedule.  Some have talked about working three full weeks, followed by a week off.  That way, you can keep members in town, and not have a rushed schedule that includes flying in on Tuesday afternoon and flying home on Thursday night.

The latest twist, reported by Roll Call, is an idea to work one full week in DC, followed by a full week back in the district.  That would be interesting.

Other than that, the Walden effort has made little news.  That should change next week, when some reform ideas are to be presented to the GOP Conference.

As for next week, newly elected freshman lawmakers from both parties will be on hand for their orientation meetings.

Also, both parties have scheduled leadership elections in the House and Senate.  As of now, Democrats in the House don't seem ready to postpone those votes, as backers of Nancy Pelosi see no reason to wait a few weeks to make sure she wins the job of Minority Leader.

Last week I wrote about one of the symbolic changes that Republicans made when they took back the House in the 1994 elections, the end of the daily ice deliveries to offices in the Congress. And I wondered what the 2010 version of that was going to be.Well, we got ...