||03-27-2013 09:19 PM
Joe Biden's Paris Hotel Cost $585,000 For One-Night Vice Presidential Stay
A $585,000.50 bill for one night at a hotel is either the result of an unimaginable amount of room service, or, if you're a member of Vice President Joe Biden's posse, it's just another night in Paris.
That's per a contract awarded to the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand, which hosted Biden's one-night stay during a diplomatic trip to Europe in early February.
Despite the eye-popping figure, administration officials swear Biden hadn't been ransacking every mini-bar in sight.
The costs "are in line with high-level travel across multiple administrations," explained an unnamed State Department official to ABC News.
The official added, "The contract costs cover the entire range of support, including accommodations for military, communications, secret service staff, and other support professionals. Security experts are also required to travel in advance of the president or vice president. Safety and security are not negotiable."
Unlike other government contracts, hotel stays for top U.S. government officials are not subject to a competitive bidding process. A justification obtained by The Weekly Standard also cites "security concerns" as the primary reason for this.
A second contract, unearthed by The Weekly Standard, shows Biden's stay in London was a (comparative) bargain, costing taxpayers just $459,338.65, more than $100,000 cheaper than his night in Paris.
While news of the trip's cost garnered predictable outrage among conservatives, others had fun with it. Joked one Twitter user, "VP Joe Biden has been officially banned from using Priceline's 'Name Your Own Price' feature."