Lawmakers Ask Trump To Help Pay Bill For His ‘Winter White House’ Trips

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Every time President Donald Trump lands in West Palm Beach, the meter starts running and the tab is getting pretty expensive.

“We understand the president wanting to be here every week,” explained Democratic Congresswoman Lois Frankel from West Palm Beach.  “We understand that. This is paradise, right?”

Congresswoman Frankel points out, Trump has spent the weekend at Mar-a-Lago five times since becoming president. Each time he visits the “Winter White House” as he calls it, Palm Beach County racks up $70 thousand in overtime costs and additional services each day he’s there. That totals $1.7 million already.

West Palm Beach is out $60 thousand. By the time the year is over, Frankel said the bill will balloon to between $3.3 million and nearly $6 million.

“What we are asking again is help in getting reimbursement to the county and city for the expenses of his trip,” Frankel said.

Frankel along with Congressmen Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings sent a letter to the president asking for reimbursement. The City of West Palm’s Mayor said she wants money too.

“Our police and fire, on the weekends the president is here, have to work at 120 percent capacity,” said Mayor Jeri Muoio. “That means hiring and paying overtime.”

The congressional group also asked for money for the Lantana airport which has to close each time Trump is here. They estimate that’s cost $720 thousand in lost business.

But not everyone’s complaining.  Marino Garcia owns a grocery store about a mile from Mar-a-lago.  He says the president’s visits have brought new customers his way.

“They come to wait, by the time the caravan come by maybe they go into the store and see the meat we have, it’s pretty good quality and they like it, they keep coming,” said Garcia.

Congresswoman Frankel says if the White House does not send money, she asked the president to “curtail your visits until such time as that matter is resolved favorably for our area,” she said in the letter to the White House.

“If we can’t get this reimbursement to perhaps stay in the White House or Camp David.  We’re asking as respectful as possible help us out,” she said.

Aside from asking the White House for money, Frankel said she also made requests in both House and Senate Appropriation committees.

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