Over 200,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding First Lady Melania Trump either move to the White House or pay the costs of her security at Trump Tower in New York City.
“The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City,” the petition reads. “As to help relieve the national debt, this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded.”
Mrs. Trump has stated that she will remain in New York for the remainder of the school year, so that her son, 11-year-old Barron Trump, can finish out the year there. She has pledged to move to the White House afterward. However, according to the New York Police Department, it costed taxpayers $24 million to protect President Trump and the first family between Election Day and Inauguration Day. The daily cost to protect the first lady and her son is estimated to be between $127,000 and $146,000.
Signers of the petition argue that this money would be better spent on other causes, especially in light of the president’s budget proposal, which slashes funding to various programs. Some even insisted that because it’s typical for the first lady to live in the White House, it’s unfair to expect taxpayers to cover costs for her to live elsewhere.
“If she chooses to live apart from her husband, the American Tax Payers should NOT pick-up the tab!” one signer wrote. “They can afford to pay for the extravagance of living apart. The Tax Payers have provided a perfectly acceptable home which has met the needs of every other previous president.”
Another reiterated that point, writing, “Living in the White House is what you do when you are married to the president. The tax money saved by eliminating these extra protection expenses can be used to feed senior citizens. Why is our tax money being spent on people who already have more than their fair share?”
The petition aims to gather 300,000 signatures and will be presented to Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) if that goal is reached.