The bipartisan spending agreement from Congress scheduled to be approved this week reportedly sets aside more than $US120 million to alleviate the financial burden on agencies tasked with protecting President Donald Trump and his family.
About $US60 million will be allocated to the US Secret Service, which requested the additional funds for expenses that include costs for Trump’s security detail and protecting Trump Tower in New York City, according to a New York Times report that cited the legislation.
About $US34 million of it will go toward the costs of protecting Trump through the end of the fiscal year.
Another $US23 million is reported to go toward retrofitting Trump Tower with equipment and personnel — which also requires the government to rent space inside the building, according to a Homeland Security official. With his weekend trips to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump has yet to visit Trump Tower, his primary residence, since taking office; however, his wife, Melania, and his son, Barron have been living there in his absence, according to The Times.
The remaining $US60 million is reportedly reimbursing local municipalities — such as New York City and Palm Beach County’s “extraordinary law enforcement personnel costs.” Protection for Trump in his Palm Beach estate has often drawn the scorn of critics, who highlight the added costs of renting additional golf carts and activating Coast Guard units to provide adequate protection during the president’s weekend trips.
“Although the federal government does not otherwise reimburse costs for state or local law-enforcement for activities in support of the Secret Service’s protection mission, these funds are being provided in recognition of the extraordinary costs borne by a small number of jurisdictions in which a residence of the president is located,”the legislation said, according to The Times.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio thanked New York’s lawmakers for helping pass the measure. “We are getting what we are owed,” de Blasio said.”That’s good news for our city and the hardworking police officers faced with this unprecedented security challenge.”
“This is an important step,” added Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida to The Times. “But now and by the end of the funding bill, we have to have a discussion about whether it is appropriate for the president to bill the taxpayers.”
The funding approval is set to expire at the end of this fiscal year, September 30.
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