Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) has introduced legislation that would require President Donald Trump to reimburse taxpayers for government funds spent on travel to his own properties, such as Mar-a-Lago in Florida and the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Lieu’s bill, the Stop Waste and Misuse by the President (SWAMP) Act, states that Trump’s travel “results in the American taxpayer effectively subsidizing the president’s businesses.” The bill would also require that Trump reimburse the government for Secret Service costs derived from visits to his properties.
New Jersey Democrat Lisa McCormick is organizing a petition drive to rally support for Lieu’s SWAMP legislation, which is posted on her website at www.lisamccormick.org and Twitter.
“It is unacceptable for the president to maintain an interest in traveling to properties in which he has a direct financial interest, as the U.S. government is responsible for renting space to personnel in said private commercial entities,” said Lieu, who represents a district in Southern California. “Every time the president travels to Mar-a-Lago, he necessarily promotes his private business interests via free press at the government’s expense.”
Presidential travel costs have skyrocketed since Trump assumed office.
Trump’s travel to his private club in Florida has cost over an estimated $20 million in his first 80 days as president, putting the Republican billionaire on pace in his first year of office to surpass former Democratic President Barack Obama’s spending on travel for his entire eight years.
Trump’s outsized spending on travel stands in stark relief to his demand for belt tightening across the federal government and the fact that he regularly criticized Obama for costing the American taxpayer money every time he took a trip.
Trump tweeted about golf at least 460 times since creating his Twitter account in 2009, but from 2011 to 2016, he posted at least 26 complaints, jokes, or scoldings about Obama playing golf while president.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that much of the money Trump spent was directed right back into Trump-owned hotels, restaurants and golf clubs. Since the start of his campaign, over $14 million has been funneled back into Trump-owned properties.
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