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Congressional Republicans are criticizing President Biden for using taxpayer resources to fly to Delaware to vote in the state’s primary this week, despite advocating for vote-by-mail, while Democrats are defending his move.
GOP lawmakers told Fox News Digital that the president’s round trip jaunt was waste of taxpayer money and at odds with policies the White House has pushed since taking office.
“It sounds pretty terrible for the environment to fly a short distance to go vote,” said Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C. “But secondly, he’s been pushing mail in ballots for the last two years and now he’s gonna go vote in person. Seems a little hypocritical.”
Other lawmakers questioned why Biden opted not to pay for the cost of the travel himself. He was also in Delaware over the weekend and returned to Washington, D.C., on Sunday, two days before he returned to the state to vote in-person.
U.S. President Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One for travel to Philadelphia from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. March 11, 2022. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
“Well only thoughts I got is who paid for that? Does he pay for it? I pay for it when I go vote,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala. “I think everybody else does, I read $177,000 because they forgot to absentee vote. That’s not a very good example for anybody.”
The exact cost of the trip remains unclear, but the Air Force reported in 2014 that the average cost to fly the presidential Boeing 747 for an hour was more than $206,000. Biden, however, took a smaller Boeing 757 to Delaware this week, according to Bloomberg.
“I do think it’s a massive waste of taxpayer money,” said Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala. “I think it’s another sign of how Democrats will politicize everything, because it’s all about the show, and not about actually participating in an election.”
"He’s been pushing mail in ballots for the last two years and now he’s gonna go vote in person," said Rep. Nancy Mace. "Seems a little hypocritical." (AP )
The White House has defended the trip saying the president felt important to show the American public the importance of voting at a time when questions over election integrity were
“The president has a very heavy schedule,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jeanne-Pierre. “He thought it was important to exercise his … right to vote and set an example by showing the importance of voting.”
Congressional Democrats say the GOP criticism is unwarranted.
"I do think it’s a massive waste of taxpayer money," said Rep. Barry Moore, R-Ala. (REUTERS/Emily Elconin)
“Why would it be bad to go and vote,” Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., told Fox News Digital.
Other Democrats, like Rep. Ritchie Torres, argued that Republicans were actually the hypocritical ones for criticizing Biden’s decision to vote in-person in Delaware.
“I remember Republicans, who are critical of absentee voting,” said Torres. “So, it just seems these criticism are largely in bad faith. He has every right vote in person … I’m proud that as president, no matter how hectic his schedule is, he manages to find the time to participate as a citizen.”