Considering the massive budget crisis in Washington, the president must be completely transparent to the American people regarding the cost of these vacations. Instead, however, all we’ve received is more stonewalling. We file a FOIA. The Obama administration ignores it. We sue to get the records. And often we are successful.
JW was back at it again on May 6, when we were forced to file a FOIA lawsuit in the U.S. District Court. To obtain records concerning use of U.S. Government funds to provide “security and/or any other services to President Obama and any companions on their January 1 and 2, 2013, trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.”
Taxpayer funds used to pay for President Obama and his entourage to travel to Hawaii, seeking access to: All records concerning use of U.S. Government funds to provide security and/or other services to President Obama and any companions on their January 1 and 2, 2013 trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.
. By a letter dated January 31, 2013, the Secret Service acknowledged that they received the request. By law the agency was required to determine whether to comply with the FOIA request within 20 days and provide Judicial Watch with the requisite notifications by February 11, 2013 at the latest. But as of May 6, the Secret Service had yet to produce a single record.
So now onto step three: file a lawsuit.
Veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler provided the public with important information about these Hawaiian trips when he wrote on January 4, 2013, that the “total cost to taxpayers of Obama’s vacations to Hawaii since becoming president is likely in excess of $20 million, and possibly much, much more.” Evidently, this is based on estimates for the trips taken by the Obama family during the Christmas holiday season in four consecutive years.
“According to a detailed breakdown by the Hawaii Reporter, the annual excursions in 2009, 2010, and 2011 cost about $4 million, much of it attributable to the expense of taking Air Force One, at an hour rate of about $180,000, on an eighteen-hour roundtrip journey to Honolulu and back.” These trips to Hawaii are just one example of the Obamas jet-setting lifestyle. According to records obtained by Judicial Watch, First Family vacations since Obama took office have come at great costs to taxpayers. Those costs have included:
In August 2010, when Michelle Obama traveled to Spain with multiple friends and one of her daughters, the total cost to taxpayers was at least $467,555.From June 21 – 27, 2011, when Michelle Obama along with her daughters and staff traveled to South Africa and Botswana, charges to the taxpayers for the aircraft and crew alone were $424,142.During President’s Day weekend of February 2012, when Michelle Obama and her two daughters vacationed in Aspen, Colorado, charges to the taxpayers were $83,182.99.
1. The Obamas’ opulent vacation lifestyle is particularly objectionable during a time when government debt is out of control. His administration should stop ignoring the FOIA open records law and account to the American people for the spending on his luxury vacations.
These vacations may seem but a drop in the bucket when compared to other examples of Obama’s spending-gone-wild, but waste is waste. And these trips are adding up.
Below is a list of First Family vacations. Judicial Watch has been at the forefront of exposing the trips and the waste of taxpayer dollars through Freedom of Information Act requests and lawsuits, to obtain the details, when necessary.
2. Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Detailing the Cost to Taxpayers for Michelle Obama’s Family Trip to Africa
3. Malia Obama Vacations In Mexico With 25 Secret Service Agents
4. Michelle Obama’s August 2010 Vacation in Spain Cost American Taxpayers $467,585 According to Records Obtained by Judicial Watch
5. Judicial Watch Sues U.S. Air Force for Records Detailing Costs of Michelle Obama’s August 2010 ‘Whirlwind’ Vacation to Spain
6. Judicial Watch Sues Air Force and Secret Service for Records Detailing Michelle Obama’s Family Ski Vacation to Aspen, Colorado
7. Michelle Obama’s Family Ski Trip to Aspen, Colorado Cost Taxpayers at Least $83 Thousand Say Records Obtained by Judicial Watch
8. 2010 Marred By Debt, Waste, Costly Hawaiian Vacation
On June 28, 2011, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request seeking the mission taskings, transportation records, and passenger manifests for Michelle Obama’s Africa trip. Documents were only provided after Judicial Watch filed suit…
Malia Obama Vacations In Mexico With 25 Secret Service Agents
The president’s 13-year-old daughter enjoyed spring break in a country plagued by so much violence that the State Department has issued travel warnings to discourage Americans from going there.
Michelle Obama’s August 2010 Vacation in Spain Cost American Taxpayers $467,585 According to Records Obtained by Judicial Watch
Sources-hawaii reporter, judicial watch, keith koffler