Florida Dems to Trump: Cut back Mar-a-Lago visits or pay up

The Democratic lawmaker whose district includes President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is asking the White House to alleviate the “financial burden” of his near-weekly visits.

Rep. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — FDA issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs | Trump health chief gets grilling | Divisions emerge over House drug pricing bills | Dems launch investigation into short-term health plans Dems call on Trump to fire Acosta Lawmakers wear white to State of the Union to show solidarity with women MORE (D-Fla.) called on Trump to either provide federal reimbursements to the local governments incurring increased security costs or cut back his trips to the resort.

“While we want the fullest protection for your visits, we hope you would be responsive to the losses of small businesses and residents of Palm Beach County,” Frankel wrote in a letter to Trump released on Monday, which was co-signed by fellow Democratic Florida Reps. Alcee Hastings and Ted Deutch.

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“If compensation is not assured of being forthcoming, we respectfully ask that you curtail your visits until such time as that matter is resolved favorably to our area.”

The lawmakers outlined the piling costs of Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago to date: $1.7 million in overtime work paid by the the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department and Fire Rescue and $60,000 in overtime to the City of West Palm Beach law enforcement handling protests. 

Trump’s hosting of Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago next month is expected to cost the sheriff and fire departments $280,000 alone, according to the letter. 

The Florida lawmakers also noted that flights are not allowed to take off at a local airport while Trump is at Mar-a-Lago, due to Secret Service restrictions. The company that manages the airport loses about $30,000 during each of Trump’s weekend visits and lost a $440,000 annual contract with a helicopter company that moved to another airport due to the security measure. Flight schools, banner flying and sightseeing businesses have also been impacted as a result, the lawmakers added. 

“While we want the fullest protection for your visits, we hope that you would be responsive to the losses of small businesses and residents of Palm Beach County,” they wrote. 

Trump has multiple times traveled to his family-owned businesses both during his presidential transition and since assuming office.

He stayed in the Washington area this past weekend, spending parts of Saturday and Sunday at one of his golf clubs in Sterling, Va. He later ate dinner at the Trump International Hotel in Washington Saturday evening.