President Trump expected to start spending weekends in New Jersey
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS 12) —
With the season coming to a close at Mar-a-Lago, so too are the frequent weekend trips by President Donald Trump.
Sources tell CBS12 the President is expected to visit Palm Beach Mother’s Day weekend, but not ruling out a trip before.
Mar-a-Lago winds down for the season at the end of May, at which point the President and First Family are expected to make weekend trips to Trump National Resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, about 30 miles west of New York City.
Law enforcement in New Jersey say they are already preparing for frequent weekend trips by the President.
Trump National Resort in Bedminster, New Jersey is in a more rural area, compared to Mar-a-Lago.
Somerset County, New Jersey Sheriff Frank Provenzano says he does not anticipate large protests as seen in Palm Beach, but trips will be costly.
Sheriff Provenzano said his team has been in touch with members of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to get feedback and insight into how Florida law enforcement dealt with the trips.
Somerset County’s biggest concern, like Palm Beach, is how to get reimbursed for the millions of dollars it’s costing.
PBSO is an agency with more than 3,000 employees and deputies, and a budget north of $600 million. Somerset County Sheriff’s Office has a staff of 230 employees and deputies and a budget of approximately $22 million. Like in Palm Beach, presidential visits to New Jersey will require the effort of a number of different local law enforcement agencies.
President Trump has spent 7 weekends in Palm Beach out of the 13 weekends he’s been in office. The trips are estimated to have cost upwards of $25 million total, and cost Palm Beach County alone in excess of $3.5 million.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw says on average it costs his agency $60,000 per day the President is in town for overtime for deputies. During the weekend Chinese President Xi Jinping was in town, Sheriff Bradshaw says it cost PBSO $1.5 million.
The frequent trips have been a point of criticism.
“I do wish he would spend more time in Washington, D.C.,” Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa told a crowd Tuesday during a Town Hall. “That’s what we have the White House for, we would love to see more of those State Department visits in Washington, D.C. I think it’s smart that he does business in Washington, D.C. so I have had those same concerns myself.”
“I think he should do it in moderation, because obviously there’s a lot of talk that it’s being way overdone at the expense of the American taxpayer,” Florida’s Democrat Senator Bill Nelson told CBS12 Wednesday.
There is currently no method set up giving the federal government the ability to reimburse local law enforcement agencies, or municipalities, for costs incurred with a Presidential visit. Congress is now going through next year’s budget, where there have been efforts by various members of Congress to create a funding program to pay back local agencies and governments.