Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Florida congresswoman asks Trump to help pay for frequent Mar-a-Lago visits

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 1:10 PM

  • Photo via Steve Jurvetson/Flickr
Florida congresswoman Lois Frankel sent a "friendly" letter to President Donald Trump this week asking for the federal government to help foot the bill for his near-weekly visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach County.

"We understand the president wanting to be here every week," said Frankel to CBS Miami. “We understand that. This is paradise, right?"

Trump has visited his "Winter White House" five times since he's become president, and he plans a sixth visit this weekend. According to Frankel, each of these visits cost $70,000 in overtime costs and additional services per day.

So far, Palm Beach County is out $1.7 million.

"What we’re saying to the White House is please step up to the plate and help us get this money back,” said Frankel. "And if you’re unable to do that, consider curtailing your travel."

Frankel's letter, which was sent to not only the White House but also the House and Senate Appropriation committees, was co-signed by congressmen Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings.

The three have also asked the White House for financial assistance for the Lantana Airport, which is forced to ground flights every time Trump is in town, per security measures enforced by the Secret Service. The airport has reportedly lost $720,000 in revenue.

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio also isn't happy about Trump's frequent visits. "Any time the president visits we have to increase our personnel by 20 percent, so we’re operating at a level of 120 percent for police and fire," she said to WBPF. "That means overtime and at this point it’s around $60,000 that we’ve spent for the days he’s been here."

Trump is hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago this weekend. This meeting alone is expected to cost local sheriff and fire departments $280,000, according to the letter.

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