First lady Michelle Obama will visit China this month with her two daughters and her mother, the White House announced Monday.
"The first lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries" during the March 19-26 trip, her office announced
Michelle Obama and family "will also be visiting important historical and cultural sites in China, and will share with students in the U.S. the stories of the students she meets in China, as well as interesting facts about China's history and culture — emphasizing the importance of students' learning from one another globally," the statement says.
"The first lady is encouraging students and classrooms across the U.S. to follow her trip by signing up for updates throughout the visit."
The students won't have just Michelle Obama to keep track of.
"Accompanying Mrs. Obama on this trip will be her mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, and daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama," the statement says.
The trip is sure to revive outrage over the high travel costs incurred by President Barack Obama and his family during his time in office. In January, Judicial Watch sued
the Secret Service and Defense Department to obtain information on the amount of taxpayer funds spent on trips by the Obamas over the past two years.
A June 2013 trip to Africa
by the president and first lady drew estimates of as much as $100 million in total costs.
Among reports of the expensive expenditures accompanying that trip were the stationing of a Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, offshore in case of an emergency; military cargo planes to fly in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks carrying bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the Obamas were to stay; and fighter jets that flew in shifts to provide 24/7 coverage over the president's airspace.
Also in June 2013
, Michelle Obama took a two-day trip to Ireland that cost taxpayers $5 million. Mrs. Obama stayed at a $3,300-per-night hotel suite in Dublin's five-star Shelbourne hotel, and she and her entourage booked 30 rooms in the swank hotel.
Judicial Watch announced last week a Freedom of Information lawsuit
by the organization revealed that "President Obama incurred $7,396,531.20 in flight expenses alone for his 2013 vacations to Hawaii and Martha's Vineyard and his trip to California to appear on the Jay Leno show."
An August trip in which Obama dined with liberal Hollywood fundraiser Jeffrey Katzenberg and then appeared "for the sixth time" on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" cost taxpayers over $2 million.
"The Obamas are abusing the public trust and the taxpayers with unnecessary, luxurious vacations and travel," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "These staggering costs show why these documents were covered up and we had to sue in federal court to get them. Another transparency fail for the Obama gang."
The Obamas also ran up a more than $11 million tab for a return trip to Africa to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral
The New York Daily News
estimated that Obama was in South Africa for "less than 13 hours" before returning to Washington.
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