Tags: holiday | costs | getaways | obama | biden

Judicial Watch: Obama, Biden Getaways Cost Taxpayers Nearly $300,000

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 02:59 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Taxpayers spent a total $295,437 — plus an additional four cents — on separate getaways for President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden during the 3-day President's Day holiday weekend last February.

The costs were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch in June 2013, the conservative watchdog group said in a statement Thursday.

Obama spent the long weekend Feb. 15-18, on a golf trip to West Palm Beach, Fla., while his wife and two daughters went on a separate skiing trip to Aspen, Colo., as did Biden and his family .

The president's trip cost $98,135.79, including $32,406.50 for the Air Force One flights, $16,466.25 for rental cars, and another $48,490 for hotel accommodations, Judicial Watch reported.

Meanwhile, his wife's Aspen stay added up $81,523.64, including $13,221.30 in flights, $3,925 in rental cars, and $64,377.34 for lodging. The cost of the vice president's trip was $115,777.61, which included $5,315 for flights, $92,596 for accommodations and another $17,866.61 for rental cars.

"The Obamas and Vice President Obama are oblivious to the costs to taxpayers for their vacation travel," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "And the stonewalling over releasing these travel numbers suggests that the Obama administration is embarrassed by the personal travel of President Obama and Vice President Biden."

The recently obtained documents follow others released in October 2011, just months after Michelle Obama traveled with her daughters and staff to South Africa and Botswana on a trip that cost taxpayers $1 million.

Air Force records, also obtained through an FOIA lawsuit, show that the first lady and her entourage spent $688,702, including hotel and lodging costs of $430,614.18. Taxpayers were billed another $424,142 for the flight and costs of the crew, Judicial Watch reports.

The recent vacations add to a tally of millions spent on the Obama family's travels since he took office. A January 2013 report shows Obama’s four vacations to Hawaii to date have cost taxpayers more than $20 million.

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