Republicans clashing with Obama over election-year student loan push
President Barack H. Obama’s push to hold down interest rates on federal student loans has rapidly turned into an election year standoff as congressional Republicans counter punch with their own debt relief plan and accuse the president of exploiting the issue for his 2012 reelection campaign.
GOP has called for the president to reimburse taxpayers for this week’s reelection campaign college tour, where he touted his student loan plan.
House Speaker John Boehner said the president’s trip to three big universities in swing states were obvious campaign stops and that his efforts to make the loan rate a campaign issue is “pathetic.”
Boehner’s suggestion that the president reimburse his travel expenses followed a similar letter Wednesday from the Republican National Committee to the Government Accountability Office. Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as ‘official events,’ thereby forcing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his 2012 reelection efforts, wrote committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
President Obama’s Wife, Michelle Obama’s Spain vacation cost taxpayers $470G
President Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama, took with her younger daughter Sasha, drew widespread criticism at the time as the visuals of the first lady in an elegant Mediterranean setting clashed with the U.S. Citizens, workers, struggling with a deep recession / depression of the U.S. economy.
Judicial Watch, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request, claimed that documents show the trip cost at least $467,585.
Those costs are split between Secret Service expenses and expenses for the flight and flight crew.
Secret Service costs totaled nearly $255,000, according to Judicial Watch.
Based on Pentagon estimates of flight costs, another $199,000 went toward the flight from the United States to Mallorca and back. On top of that were various expenses for the 15 person flight crew. They stay at a local motel at a cost of roughly $10,000, according to Judicial Watch, in addition to money spent on rental cars and food.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said “the recent scandal involving the General Services Administration’s costly conference in the Las Vegas area in chastising the president’s family for the trip.
The American people can ill afford to keep sending the First Family on vacations around the globe, he said in a written statement. “There needs to be greater sensitivity to the costs borne by taxpayers for these personal trips. It is hypocritical for President Obama to fire GSA officials for wasteful conference spending, while his family went on a luxury vacation in the Costa del Sol Spain that cost taxpayers nearly half a million dollars.”
Michelle Obama’s family trip to South Africa and Botswana cost taxpayers well over $424,000, according to new accounting based on Air Force manifests obtained by Judicial Watch, a taxpayer watchdog group.
The use of Air Force aircraft alone for the June 21-27 trip cost $424,142, said the group, and that doesn’t include the food, lodging, and ground transportation for the 21 family and staff members.
Judicial Watch said it based the jet costs on the Pentagon’s hourly rates for the C-32A aircraft used for the trip. The documents don’t give exact cost calculations, which is typical for presidential and first family trips.