President Obama’s trip this month to Africa, with the first family tagging along, is projected to cost taxpayers as much as $100 million, sparking criticism as the federal government scrimps along during sequester-related budget cuts.
Among the related costs will be fighter jets; hundreds of Secret Service agents; a Navy ship with a full trauma center; and military cargo planes to bring 56 vehicles including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. The details were reported by The Washington Post, based on a confidential planning document.
The trip to sub-Sahara Africa runs from June 26 to July 3.
The president and first lady have cancelled plans to go on a safari that would have included the additional expense of a sharp-shooting team, responsible for putting down a cheetah, lion or any other wild animal that became a threat.
Figuring out the exact cost of the overall trip is difficult because the information is classified for the purpose of national security.
However, a Government Accountability Office report shows President Clinton’s 1998 trip to six African nations cost at least $42.7 million – not including Secret Service expenses.
Obama’s trip could cost the federal government $60 million to $100 million based on the costs of similar African trips in recent years, a person familiar with the Obama journey but not authorized to speak for attribution told The Post.
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