As the White House first announced in March, Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Mexico and Costa Rica later this week. The trip is billed as “an important opportunity to reinforce the deep cultural, familial, and economic ties that so many Americans share with Mexico and Central America.” And at yesterday’s White House press conference, the president stated that he is “very much looking forward to taking the trip down to Mexico” this week.
But the trip won’t exactly be cheap for taxpayers, assuming the costs mirror those incurred by the American taxpayers for President Obama’s last trip to Mexico, for the G-20 summit in June 2012. According to recently discovered documents relating to the costs of that trip, taxpayers paid nearly $2.5 million for hotel and “vehicle rental.”
The first government document is a contract with a travel agent for the hotels required for the president’s delegation and entourage for the conference:
The accompanying Justification and Approval (J&A) document estimates the total cost at $1,889,388.60, with a maximum payout of $2,078,327.46. The document does not give details concerning the number of rooms or other special requirements. It notes the usual security concerns and time constraints that apply to such VIP trips, but also lists this additional restriction imposed by the Mexican government:
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