By Malia Zimmerman | Hawaii Reporter
President Barack Obama’s decision to rejoin his family on their Hawaii vacation will cost taxpayers another $3.2 million for an already pricey holiday stay.
After arriving in Hawaii on Dec. 22, Obama left first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, on Dec. 26 to return to Washington, D.C., to continue negotiations with Congress to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
After Congress reached an agreement late Tuesday, Obama opted to return to Hawaii, landing at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu just before 5 a.m. Wednesday.
The first family’s Hawaii vacation, taken annually since Obama was elected to office four years ago, typically costs taxpayers more than $4 million.
The biggest expense is Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One.
A Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012 said the plane typically used by the president, a Boeing 747, costs $179,750 per hour to operate. The U.S. Air Force has listed the cost of travel as high as $181,757 per flight hour.
Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington to Hawaii is about nine hours, or as high as $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.