The White House is beginning to feel pressure over President Barack Obama’s planned $100 million trip to Africa — and it’s not just coming from Republicans.
The trip comes despite the Obama Administration’s frequent complaints about the sequester, which took effect in March. Rep. John Barrow, a Democrat from Georgia, criticized the White House for this extravagant spending in a short speech from the House floor on Thursday.
Though he was errant in his criticism of the sequester, which merely cuts the rate of spending growth over the next 10 years, Barrow noted that the cost of the trip is roughly the impact the spending cuts will have on Georgia’s economy.
“Very soon thousands of folks in my district in Georgia, and even more across the state, will be furloughed as a result of the budget sequester. Studies have shown that the sequester will cost the Georgia economy approximately $107 million,” said Barrow. “Meanwhile, reports circulated this week that President Obama’s upcoming trip to Africa will cost the taxpayers nearly $100 million.”
“Mr. Speaker, no one here questions the need for security for our Commander-in-Chief. But we do question the need for such expensive trips when so many folks across the country are being forced to cut back because Congress can’t get its act together,” continued Barrow. “A trip of this magnitude isn’t unusual, but these are hard times. One hundred million dollars could be better used to keep folks on the job.
“I urge the President, and everyone at the federal level, to lead by example, and not take the fact that Congress can’t get it’s act together and rub that in the faces of hard working Americans, he pointedly added.
Here’s video of Barrow’s speech: