Donald Trump has no shame. He hawked his $40 USA caps during a recent trip to Hurricane Harvey damaged Houston. He visits his private resorts nearly every weekend to promote them. Even the president’s secretaries are jetting around on charter planes at the taxpayers’ expense. Yet, the latest news about Trump’s greed and sense of entitlement is worse, by far.
During one of his visits to Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, another member of the government stayed at the resort for two nights. The bill came to a jaw-dropping $1,092. That was $546 per night with no discount of any sort. The official had to pay what is known in the industry as the rake rate, also known as the standard room rate.
As a result of this type of egregious tax dollar spending, Democratic Senator Gary Peters of Michigan released a statement about his new “common sense bill.” The Washington Post reported:
‘Executive branch officials like the President and cabinet secretaries should not have a profit motive in the travel decisions made by the federal employees under their supervision. (The) common sense bill (ensures) that federal employees are not subject to undue pressure to patronize businesses owned by their top-level managers.’
The Hotel Act – Heightened Oversight of Travel, Eating and Lodging – bans anyone in the executive branch of government from staying at any presidential-owned location. This would apply to not only the president, but the vice president, Cabinet secretaries, and any of their family members. In other words, any hotel owned or managed by the Trump family would be off-limits.
Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tom Udall of New Mexico also co-sponsored the legislation. This act would exempt the Secret Service employees and others who protect top U.S. officials, but those expenses would have to be reported regularly. Then, according to the legislation, the Office of Government Ethics would review them.
House Democrats offered up an amendment to the annual defense policy bill that could have banned the Pentagon from paying for stays at properties “owned by or significantly controlled by” the president or his family. Not surprisingly, the House rejected that amendment. A bipartisan plan had also been introduced to require Pentagon officials to report the cost of the president’s travel, including at the Trump’s hotels and resorts every three months. The House rejected that, too.
The Constitution’s emoluments clause forbids the president from profiting by private means during his term.
Check out this video about the Mar-a-Lago receipt via YouTube:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer.