While tens of millions of Americans across the country were still dealing with the aftermath of a massive arctic storm system featuring heavy snow for some and subfreezing temperatures for all, President Joe Biden and his family jetted off to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to celebrate the New Year in Caribbean style.
And, while millions of Americans remained stranded at airports across the country due to the weather and chaotic airliner issues, Biden had the $1.7 trillion, 4,100-plus-page omnibus spending bill flown down to the island for his signature before it was flown back to Washington D.C., the New York Post reported.
Biden signed that bill into law on Thursday while vacationing in a luxurious beachside villa owned by a wealthy donor and personal friend.
Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress.
It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding – and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine.
Looking forward to more in 2023. pic.twitter.com/KTI1R9qMij
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 29, 2022
Bill flew to vacationing president for signature
The Post noted that President Biden and some members of his family left the White House late Tuesday evening for the flight down to St. Croix for an end-of-year vacation in the Caribbean.
Thursday morning, a Fox Business correspondent reported that “A White House Official tells me the Omnibus Bill is in possession of the White House. It has to be signed by Dec 30th. The Official says at some point it will be transported to St Croix for POTUS to sign to make the Dec 30th deadline.”
Later Thursday evening, an NBC News reporter revealed in a tweet, “The President has signed the Omnibus, while on vacation in St. Croix. The White House says the bill was delivered to the President for his signature by White House staff on a regularly scheduled commercial flight today.”
Vacation villa owned by billionaire friend and donor
The New York Post reported separately on Wednesday that President Biden and his family would be staying in St. Croix at a luxurious beachside villa owned by wealthy businessman Bill Neville and his wife Connie.
Neville is the founder of a successful software company called U.S. Viking that makes a news content platform used by hundreds of different media outlets.
The Post noted that the Bidens have previously vacationed at the St. Croix villa owned by the Nevilles, who are personal friends and max donors to his campaigns, but it is unclear if the free lodging and accommodations will be properly disclosed as “gifts” or count toward contribution limitations.
Coincidentally, to be sure, the Nevilles were also recently invited by the Bidens to be among the rather exclusive and limited guest list at the Dec. 1 State Dinner at the White House for French President Emmanuel Macron.
An ethical dilemma
This entire situation raises questions that demand answers, beginning first and foremost with the wisdom behind commercially flying a bill down to the vacationer-in-chief for his signature in the Caribbean while thousands of domestic commercial flights continue to be canceled and millions of Americans continue to deal with historic winter weather.
Answers are also deserved with respect to the ethical considerations of Biden staying for free at a property owned by a billionaire donor and friend.
“[First son] Hunter’s laptop and other evidence show Biden’s record of converting his public office into private gain,” Tom Fitton, president of conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, told the Post. “So it is no surprise Biden is getting a free luxury vacation from a wealthy donor who ‘coincidentally’ received primo White House state dinner tickets.”