Taxpayers Paid $20,000/Minute for Biden to Join UAW Picket Line; House Workforce Chair Investigates

Craig Bannister | September 29, 2023
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Pres. Joe Biden cost taxpayers at least twenty thousand dollars a minute by going to Michigan to score political points and join the UAW picket line, prompting a probe by House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC).

On Tuesday, Pres. Biden became the first president to ever publicly take a side and actively put his thumb on the scale of a private-sector labor dispute.

Biden told the autoworkers to “stick with” their strike, because they “deserve” to get want they want.

By taking sides, Biden didn’t just improperly interfere with private-sector labor negotiations, he also made taxpayers pick up the steep tab for what appears to be a campaign stop, Chairwoman Foxx tells Biden in a letter sent Thursday:

“Your actions placed significant costs on taxpayers and were highly inappropriate. They suggest you are more interested in scoring political points with the UAW than maintaining the neutrality that is needed from a President.”

“Furthermore, your photo op may have come with serious costs to the taxpayer,” Rep. Foxx writes, laying out her math:

  1. The cost to operate Air Force One is $177,843 per flight hour ($2,964 per minute).
  2. Biden’s flight from Joint Base Andrews to Detroit Metropolitan County Airport was one hour and 20 minutes.
  3. Thus, the flight alone cost taxpayers $237,124.
  4. Biden’s appearance at the picket line and remarks lasted approximately 12 minutes.
  5. Therefore, Biden’s 12-minute appearance cost taxpayers $19,760 per minute.


“This analysis does not include the cost of your motorcade, Marine One, and other expenses incurred,” Rep. Foxx notes.

Biden’s visit to the striking autoworkers’ picket line was “was the sole stated purpose” of his trip, Rep. Foxx reminds the president.

“I am concerned about your frivolous use of significant taxpayer funds to engage in a photo opportunity that resembled a campaign stop, only immediately to jet off to engage in an actual fundraiser,” Foxx tells Biden.

“I write to express my concerns about your actions and to seek information about this critical lapse in judgment,” Chairwoman Foxx says, calling on Pres. Biden to provide answers to four questions:

  • What was the total cost to taxpayers of his trip to Michigan to visit with the UAW picketers?
  • Was the trip to Michigan official activity or campaign activity?
  • How did the White House coordinate with federal agencies with regard to the trip to Michigan?
  • How did Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su and White House senior advisor Gene Sperling assist with the trip to Michigan?


Foxx also calls on Biden to provide relevant documents, communications, and materials regarding the trip, including those “between the White House and the National Labor Relations Board.”

The congresswomen set a deadline of October 13, 2023 for Pres. Biden to respond.