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Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D–CA) on Monday, May 22, introduced the Stop Waste And Misuse by the President Act of 2017, otherwise known as the SWAMP Act. The proposed legislation would compel President Donald J. Trump and his family to reimburse the American taxpayers for federal funds spent at commercial properties that he or his family own or in which they have a financial interest.
Media outlets and other members of Congress have reported that Trump’s weekend travels to his resort in Florida, as well as his family’s travel for their personal private businesses, cost taxpayers too much to account for secret service and staff. One weekend in March, Trump traveled to Florida, which, according to analysis by Politico.com, cost taxpayers more than $3 million.
“President Trump ran for office to ‘drain the swamp,’” Lieu said in a statement released Monday. “Since January, he has traveled to his Mar-a-Lago resort seven times, costing the U.S. taxpayer more than $25 million dollars. Every time he travels to a commercial property in which he has a financial interest, he forces the American people to deposit funds directly into his pockets. Most of us don’t know what it’s like to own or even visit multi-million dollar commercial properties – but every American is paying for them. Meanwhile, President Trump wants to cut programs like the Interagency Council on Homelessness, which could meet its annual funding requirements if Trump passed on just one Mar-a-Lago trip.”
Lieu said Trump’s trips add strain to local law enforcement, “depriving towns of revenue by cutting off traffic routes near his resorts, and housing security and staff at his own properties – all on the taxpayer’s dime.”
“The Office of the President should never be used for personal gain or enrichment,” Lieu said. “That is why I am proud to introduce the SWAMP Act, which would ensure the president reimburses the Treasury Department for costs pertaining to trips to his own properties. Congress has a strong role to play in protecting the American people from fraud and abuse and this bill is a key part of that effort.”
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