A petition calling for Melania Trump to either move into the White House or pay for the security bill herself has garnered over 120,000 signatures on Change.org and is quickly on the way to reaching its goal of 150,000 signatures.
The entreaty was initiated last week by Colorado software engineer Doug Caruana and is directed to the U.S. Senate at large and Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MASS) specifically. Bluntly titled “Make Melania Trump stay in the White House or pay for the expenses herself”, the petition is short and sweet:
The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City. As to help relieve the national debt, this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded.
The New York City Police Department estimated last month that it cost $24 million to provide security for the President-elect and his family during the period between election day and the inauguration.
Concerned New Yorkers had hoped that they would be free of the financial burden of paying for the security of the Trumps once they moved into the White House. However, they were surely dismayed when Melania announced in January that she would be staying in Trump Tower until their son Barron finished the spring semester at his elite private school.
In a letter to the New York Congressional delegation, the NYPD said that it now costs between $127,000 and $142,000 per day to protect the First Lady and her son. That estimate rises to $308,000 anytime the President returns to his hometown.
Once the petition reaches its goal of 150,000 names, it will be forwarded to Congress. It remains to be seen whether Congress will take any action based on the groundswell of support for the citizens’ request.
Hopefully, our legislature will act to spend taxpayer money on priorities like feeding hungry seniors and protecting the environment rather than providing security for billionaires who could easily afford to pay for their own bodyguards.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.