US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has urged President Trump to accept the ballooning costs for local cops who protect him and the first family in New York and help the federal government by adding funds to the federal budget to reimburse the city.
The NYPD says it costs the city $500,000-a-day to pay for close to 200 police officers in and around Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which houses the Trump family business headquarters and serves as the home of first lady Melania Trump, and the couple’s son Barron. That could rise to as much as $183 million annually.
With the addition of costs relating to Secret Service officials and security at Trump's Florida resort, the average costs balloon to around $1 million-a-day.
We all know that it is a national responsibility of the federal government to protect the president. And that’s as it should be,” Schumer said at a press conference at his Midtown office on Sunday.
“But right now, New York City taxpayers are paying a huge amount of money to protect the President and Trump Tower.”
The Guardian reports that at current estimates, even a four-year Trump administration could be heading for a billion dollars in taxpayer-borne costs – an eight-fold increase over the $97m Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, estimates it cost to protect Barack Obama over the two terms of his administration.
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Schumer urged Trump to put the costs in his approaching federal budget, noting the city has only been reimbursed for $7 million of the requested $35 million it has requested so far.
“It’s simply unfair to have New York City taxpayers alone bear the burden of NYPD protection at Trump Tower. President Trump: this is your protection, so I challenge you to put these costs in your upcoming federal budget and make a commitment to reimburse New York City,” the senator said.
In contrast, the cost of protecting former president Obama during his four trips to the city last year came to just $4.1m. The costs of protecting the Obama family home in Chicago over the same pre-inauguration period in his presidency were estimated at $2.2m.
Senator Schumer’s comments come as the full costs of protecting the first family in the lifestyle to which it is accustomed are only just starting to be understood.
By his calculation, the federal government has left the city holding the bag for about $28 million in costs.
“Initially, New York City requested $35 million in reimbursement and Congress only provided $7 million – which left city taxpayers bearing the rest of the costs,” he said.
Schumer said part of the reason the costs are so high is the challenge to provide security to the Trump Tower in the heart of midtown Manhattan.
“This now is an unusual expense,” Schumer said.
Trump has been living in the White House during the week and often heads to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on the weekends.
But his wife, Melania, has not joined her husband in Washington, DC, deciding instead to stay behind with their son, Barron, at the Trump Tower, further stretching the security operation.
“This is his responsibility and I hope the President will step up to the plate,” the senator said.
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