While thousands of federal employees are working without pay, some Democratic lawmakers are vacationing in Puerto Rico.
Over 30 Democratic lawmakers and hundreds of lobbyists traveled to Puerto Rico for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ BOLD PAC winter retreat. The main focus of the retreat was to experience the effects of Hurricane Maria.
“They’ll get to experience firsthand the needs of the island so that they go back and sort of fight [President] Trump and the Republicans,” said Luis Miranda, the father of “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda told CBS News.
However, the hotel they are staying at is reportedly more than $400 per night, and during their stay, they participated in many high-budget events.
Some are calling out the hypocrisy of Democrats for their lack of foresight on how the retreat would be viewed. President Trump tweeted out that they needed to focus on border security.
We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border. We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their “vacations” and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2019
I’m in the White House, waiting. The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay. They are having fun and not even talking!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019
A memo from the event read that it was to help lawmakers and lobbyists “escape the cold and discuss our shared priorities for a stronger and more prosperous country.” The attendees were seen lounging on the beach and enjoying sight-seeing.
Spotted: Sen. Bob Menendez on the beach at a resort in Puerto Rico on Day 22 of the partial government shutdown. Reports say dozens of Dems are in PR for the CHC BOLD PAC winter retreat — including meetings on Maria cleanup, and a party with PR’s “Hamilton” cast. pic.twitter.com/6FaBYKPo4L
— David McAlpine (@DavidMcAlpine) January 12, 2019
The trip did help the people of Puerto Rico, with the retreat donating medical supplies and the proceeds from the Hamilton tickets going to the Flamboyan Arts Fund. Yet their humanitarian efforts may not be enough to appease the number of people being affected by the lack of action from Congress to end the partial shutdown.