The travel costs President Trump has racked up traveling back and forth to his own properties are astronomical. Despite the enormous amount of criticism he’s received for these trips, the president hasn’t shown any sign of stopping them. That might change, though, thanks to a new bill proposed by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California).
On Tuesday, The Washington Examiner revealed that Lieu has proposed a bill that would require Trump to reimburse the government for public funds that are spent on travel to his hotels and other properties.
To add insult to injury, the bill is named the Stop Waste and Misuse by the president (SWAMP) Act, which appears to be a clever play on Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”
The bill claims that Trump’s frequent trips to his own properties result in “the American taxpayer effectively subsidizing the president’s businesses.”
Each trip to Mar-a-Lago, the president’s “Winter White House,” costs approximately $3.7 million. There are also additional costs that the American people end up covering, including airfare and overtime for local law enforcement.
The bill also explains that Trump is promoting his businesses by taking these frequent trips “via free press at the government’s expense.”
‘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 for personnel in said private commercial entities. Every time the president travels to Mar-a-Lago, he necessarily promotes his private business interests via free press at the government’s expense.’
If passed, the bill would require Trump and other high-ranking government officials who require Secret Service protection to pay back the costs that come with traveling to properties they own. It specifically states:
‘In the case of a person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect…if that person, while traveling for official business or for personal purposes, stays in a hotel or other establishment providing daily-rate accommodation in which that person has an ownership or financial interest, that person shall reimburse to the Treasury —
(1) any amount expended by the United States Secret Service for the provision of such protection; and
(2) any amount expended for other costs incurred by the Government pertaining to that stay.’
Lieu’s bill is cosponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York), who filed a resolution of inquiry in January to try and force Trump to provide Congress with records that would provide more information about his business deals and potential conflicts of interest.
Reps. Lieu and Nadler are not the only members of Congress who have expressed frustration over the president and his family’s exorbitant travel costs. CBS released a report last month breaking down the Trumps’ expenses since January. The report included a statement from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland):
‘The Trump family’s frequent travel to international destinations purely to promote the Trump family business is burning through taxpayer dollars at an unprecedented rate and stretching the Secret Service increasingly thin.’
With a Republican-controlled House and Senate, it seems unlikely that the SWAMP Act will pass. At the very least, though, it will have the support of Rep. Cummings.
Featured image via Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.