A petition at Change.org calling for President Trump's wife Melania Trump to move to the White House or foot the bill for her protection has garnered more than 250,000 signatures. The request will be delivered to Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
"The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City," the petition reads. "As to help relieve the national debt, this expense ... should be cut from being funded."
Since Melania Trump hasn't moved to the White House, the Secret Service has to have a permanent presence at Trump Tower. Since 1951, the Service has been permanently authorized by Congress to protect the President and his family.
The first couple living in separate locations hasn't occurred in recent history. According to CBS, the last first lady to live somewhere other than the White House was Anna Harrison, wife of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison. Harrison died just 31 days into his term.
Melania Trump has indicated that she and her son, Barron, plan to move to the White House after the school year ends. “There’s obviously a sensitivity to pulling out a 10-year-old in the middle of the school year,” transition spokesman Jason Miller told McClatchy.
The Secret Service has asked for an additional $26.8 million to deal with the first family's unique living situation, according to the Washington Post.
The Secret Service, as a part of the Department of Homeland Security, receives appropriations every year from Congress, so theoretically Congress could refrain from giving the Secret Service enough money to protect the Trumps at both the White House and Trump Tower. In Secret Service requested $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2016.
The New York Police Department estimates that it spends between $127,000 to $146,000 a day to provide security at Trump Tower when the President is away.
Under former President Obama, the White House would respond when petitions filed at WhiteHouse.gov got more than 100,000 thousand signatures within 30 days. We reached out to the White House to see if the same policy existed under Trump but received no reply. The petition website with the 100,000-signature policy is still up.
This petition isn't on WhiteHouse.gov, so it doesn't test the 100,000 rule.