Legislation introduced by a California Democrat would force President Donald Trump to reimburse the government for travel costs when he makes visits to properties belonging to his real estate empire.
The Stop Waste and Misuse by the President (SWAMP) Act, introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu on Tuesday, declares that American taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for expenses when Trump travels to properties in which his family has a financial interest.
Trips such as the president’s frequent visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort, the bill says, ultimately result “in the American taxpayer effectively subsidizing the president’s businesses.”
“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 to personnel in said private commercial entities,” the bill says.
Trump’s travel to Mar-a-Lago early on in his presidency drew heavy criticism when the president spent 11 of his first 33 days in the White House at the Florida property, racking up an estimated $10 million in expenses to taxpayers.
In his legislation, Lieu estimates that security costs alone for the visits can run as high as $3.7 million per trip.
“Every time the president travels to Mar-a-Lago, he necessarily promotes his private business interests via free press at the government’s expense,” says the lawmaker’s bill.
The bill wouldn’t just single out Trump. It would also require other high-ranking officials protected by the Secret Service to reimburse the security costs of making trips to properties they own.