Reps. O’Halleran, Gallego Request Presidential Travel Cost Information
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) led members of the House Armed Services Committee in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis requesting information regarding President Donald Trump’s travel expenses and the demands placed upon the Department of Defense.
“The president’s frequent trips to New York City and his Florida golf course are costing the taxpayers millions of dollars and placing an undue burden on our defense agencies. For Congress to make sound budgeting decisions, the administration must be transparent about these costs,” said Congressman O’Halleran. “We do not have an unlimited federal budget that can be spent on presidential travel while we face national security threats at home and abroad and our communities watch their roads and bridges crumble.”
“Huge sums—including precious military resources—are expended every time President Trump decides to jet down to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend,” said Congressman Gallego. “As members of the committee that oversees the defense budget, we have a responsibility to our Armed Forces and to the American taxpayer to uncover the true cost of these frivolous trips. We must ensure that the tax dollars of America’s hard working families are going towards our defense needs, not towards weekend getaways for Donald Trump.”
Per recent reports, President Trump’s travels in the first month of his presidency have cost taxpayers nearly $10 million. Defense agencies that provide protection and support to the president’s travel incur staggering, but necessary, costs that only exacerbate constraints on the respective operating budgets.
The letter, signed by five members of the House Armed Services Committee, requests the following information from the Department of Defense:
- How much has DOD spent to date in support of the President’s travel?
- How is such travel expected to impact DOD resources and staff?
- What steps will be taken to ensure the U.S. government resources remain dedicated to their intended purpose of protecting national security?
Last year, the Government Accountability Office estimated a three-day presidential trip costs the DOD $2.8 million, excluding classified and personnel expenses. The cost of the president’s frequent travel to New York City and Florida in the first months in office have far exceeded the annual travel costs of previous administrations.