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. (Read more Nancy Pelosi stories.)