Tags: biden | amtrak | costs | flights

Sequester Forces Biden to Take Amtrak

Friday, 01 Mar 2013 10:04 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Joe Biden’s military flights back home to Delaware will be grounded starting this weekend, as the vice president plans to start taking Amtrak trains to help cut the costs involved in using military transport for the short trip.

Biden said he initiated the change in travel plans, Fox News reports, saying the change is the one part of the sequester that works to his benefit.

According to published reports, it costs the government tens of thousands of dollars every time Biden takes Air Force Two or other military flights back to Delaware. Biden told the National Association of Attorneys General he enjoys taking the train, and took nearly 8,000 trips by Amtrak as senator.

But the Secret Service made him travel by air, the vice president said, because Amtrak “gives too many opportunities for people to interact with me in a way they wouldn’t like to see.”

Other sources confirmed Biden’s new travel plans, with one source saying “Air Force Two is grounded for weekend trips starting Friday.”

Biden’s Amtrak trips will involve first-class seats, and people familiar with his travel history say the vice president passes the one-hour, 18-minute trip from Washington to Wilmington, Del., by reading newspapers, working, or glad-handing.

“He just walks around shaking hands posing for pics,” the source said. “He talks to everyone and anyone, and doesn’t sit still.”

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