11/16/21: New York Post: Biden Delaware trips cost taxpayers about $3M in Secret Service alone


Americans may be grappling with how to put food on the table amid a sharp rise in the cost of everyday goods — but you’d never know it from the tab President Biden has racked up on their dime.

Biden’s regular weekend and a few midweek trips home to Delaware have cost nearly $3 million in security alone, Secret Service expense records shared with The Post show.

Biden’s security detail spent $1.96 million on 16 trips to his Delaware homes this year, the records indicate. Another nine trips aren’t yet counted and likely push the total to $3 million.

Those 25 trips have been racked up in just 43 weeks in office.

And the true price tag to taxpayers is higher because the Pentagon hasn’t released costs for Air Force One and Marine One helicopter trips.

“Most Americans know that Biden is being hidden because he isn’t fit for office,” a former Trump White House official taunted. “What they may not realize is that they’re paying insane amounts of money for him to be tucked into bed in Delaware every weekend.”

The documented expenses mostly cover hotels and rental cars for Secret Service agents, as well as airfare and train tickets for them to reach Delaware.

“The costs of presidential travel and security is of obvious public interest,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which acquired the records under the Freedom of Information Act.

Fitton noted that the records are incomplete and said “it is frustrating that after years of litigation through two presidential administrations, the Secret Service and Air Force are still stonewalling the costs of presidential travel.”

Presidents have widely varying weekend habits. Former President Donald Trump regularly left the White House on weekends to visit his resorts. But Biden’s former boss, President Barack Obama, rarely took personal weekend trips.

The Secret Service tab of roughly $3 million for the 77 days Biden visited his Delaware homes far outpaces the $2.4 million in Secret Service costs to protect Trump during the 99 days he spent at his Bedminster, NJ, golf course over four years.

But costs incurred by agencies other than the Secret Service can dramatically increase costs. For example, four Trump stays at his coastal Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in early 2017 cost $13.6 million — $10.6 million of which was for official aircraft and boats. Each Trump trip cost the Coast Guard about $1 million.

Biden has visited his Wilmington, Del., home 22 times and his Rehoboth Beach home three times since taking office. Last month, he took a stroll on the beach with first lady Jill Biden as a Coast Guard ship reportedly patrolled offshore. Biden has been to Camp David in Maryland on 11 weekends.

Greg Jenkins, director of White House advance planning under President George W. Bush, said that from a logistical standpoint, authorities have to do less work to secure regular destinations.

For example, Jenkins said that although Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch was too far away for regular weekend trips, a trailer was set up to allow for secure communications when Bush did visit.

“For my money, the more a president gets some time to himself or herself, the better. It’s not like the country isn’t being tended to or he’s taking his eye off the ball because he’s changed locations,” Jenkins said.

“I guess it really gets down to, is the president paying attention to what they need to be paying attention to when they’re away from the White House? And I have no reason to believe President Biden is not paying attention to what he needs to pay attention to.”

Biden recently hosted at his Wilmington home Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NJ) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) for legislative talks, but much of his weekends are believed to be spent relaxing with extended family members and his snappy young German shepherd Major.

Still, the White House has decided not to release visitor log information for Biden’s Delaware homes, despite his frequent trips there.

And Biden’s trips come despite his frequent focus on global warming, which he calls a “climate crisis” that threatens the world’s future.

Some environmental activists urge people to take personal responsibility for reducing use of fossil fuels. The Climate Pledge co-launched by Amazon, for example, asks people to commit to personally reducing their environmental impact.

But the anti-climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion said the “hypocrisy” of elected officials isn’t their most pressing concern.

“We need to stop fixating on the hypocrisy of individuals’ lifestyle choices and focus on the systemic changes that are now necessary to protect our civilization from collapse,” the group said.

“President Biden’s personal carbon footprint pales in comparison to the choices he makes in office as the leader of one of the highest emitting nations in the world, not least the decision to hold the largest oil and gas lease sale in US history after promising on the campaign trail to ‘take on the fossil fuel industry.’”

Howie Hawkins, who ran against Biden as the Green Party’s presidential candidate last year, said he’s unbothered by Biden’s arguably unnecessary travel.

“I don’t think President Biden’s personal example means much when all of us are compelled to use the transportation system we have, which is powered by fossil fuels,” Hawkins said. “Biden policy, not personal example, is what could make a real difference.”

Hawkins said he wants Biden to do even more to push for green-energy initiatives and restrict fossil fuel drilling and pipelines. Biden’s just-signed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan contains $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations and $5 billion to buy electric and low-emission buses. And Biden’s proposed nearly $2 trillion social spending plan contains $555 billion for environmental initiatives.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally printed at https://nypost.com/2021/11/16/biden-delaware-trips-cost-about-3m-in-secret-service-alone/


Posted on

November 17, 2021

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