Concerns over the costs of securing non-White House accommodations for the first family may finally be addressed, as a petition urging Melania Trump to move to the White House (or pay for her own security at Trump Tower in New York City) reached the 150,000 signature goal needed to deliver it to Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The First Lady announced plans to remain in New York until June shortly following the presidential election, and soon after reports of just how much it would cost had New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and budget-minded Americans taking notice.
According to The New York Times, the NYPD estimated that security detail for Melania and Barron alone costs between $127,000 to $146,000 per day, reaching an average of $308,000 if President Trump decides to spend a day at Trump Tower too. The New York Post also noted that New York Sen. Chuck Schumer stated that, as of February, the city had only received $7 million in reimbursements from the federal budget for the $35 million spent to protect the Trump family up to that point. You don't need to be a math whiz to understand where the frustration is coming from.
"The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City," Colorado resident Doug Caruana, the petition's author, writes on the Change.org page. "As to help relieve the national debt, this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded."
These frustrations are also echoed as the president continues to make trips (that aren't cheap either) to his so-called "winter White House" at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. However, for commenters on the petition, it's Melania's reluctance to relocate to D.C. that indicates a lack of foresight and a real lack of consideration for the tax payers — particularly given Trump's status (which he loves to brag about) as "a very rich man."
"The tax money saved by eliminating these extra protection expenses can be used to feed senior citizens," Sheila Forsyth, a commenter from Rhode Island wrote on the petition page. "Why is our tax money being spent on people who already have more than their fair share?"
Now that the petition is armed with enough signatures to be handed off to Sens. Sanders and Warren, it remains to be seen whether the issue of this unprecedented presidential living situation will be resolved.