While the Obama administration has cancelled public tours of the White House “due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration,” the budget cuts do not seem to have had any effect on vacation travel by the first and second families as Vice President Joe Biden is spending a long holiday weekend in South Carolina.
Biden and his wife, Jill, arrived in Kiawah Island off South Carolina on Thursday with plans of staying through the Easter holiday, The Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama’s two daughters — Malia and Sasha — were spending their spring break in Bermuda.
Some critics say frequent vacationing by the first and second families is an unnecessary expense for taxpayers at a time when government budgets are being cut and tax increases are being discussed.
Obama and Biden pay for parts of their vacations themselves, but some expenses related to security and staffing are picked up by taxpayers. In the case of Obama’s annual Christmas vacations to Hawaii, the cost to taxpayers have been estimated at more than $4 million for each trip.
The Washington Times notes
that Biden also was in the Virgin Islands Jan. 4-8 and in February spent the three-day Presidents’ Day weekend in Snowmass, Colo. as President Obama went on a golfing trip to Florida.
Biden is set to return to South Carolina in May for the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner fundraiser in Columbia, the Times adds.
Supporters of the president and vice president say these expenses are part of the job and note that President George W. Bush incurred similar expenses on his trips to his Texas ranch.
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