Record State Dinner Spending at Obama White House [VIDEO]
WASHINGTON – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today released a video – “Spend Like He Says, Not Like He Does” – highlighting reported record Obama Administration State Dinner spending, including a May 19, 2012 White House event that cost taxpayers more than the infamous four-day GSA Las Vegas conference previously investigated by the committee. Yesterday, Chairman Darrell Issa sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter requesting all planning documents, receipts, contracts and communications related to state dinners since January 2009. The State Department has failed to respond to an April 2012 committee request for information related to overnight conferences attended by its employees.
On October 25, 2012, the Washington Examiner reported that the Mexico dinner cost taxpayers more than $4,700 per attendee for a total of $969,793. The sum dwarfs both the $840,616 spent by GSA on its October 2010 Vegas conference and the estimated $200,000 spent on each state dinner by previous administrations, according to Examiner. While there are no reports of GSA-style clowns or homemade rap videos at the Obama Administration’s state dinners, according to documents obtained by the Examiner:
2. “An itemized list of costs and expenses for each of the last six state dinners, including, but not limited to, amounts paid, including reimbursements, for non-government event planners, entertainers, and chefs. Please include a copy of all contracts or agreements entered into with all non-government event planners, entertainers, chefs, and other non-government contractors.
3. “All documents and communications between and among staff of the White House and the Department relating to the planning and execution of state dinners since January 1, 2009.”
A November 2009 White House state dinner honoring the Prime Minister of India cost taxpayers nearly $500,000, according to the Examiner.