House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called for President Obama's campaign to reimburse the Treasury for his "official" trips through battle ground states to push the student loan bill.
"This week, the president travelled across the country on taxpayers' dime at a cost of $179,000 an hour insisting that Congress fix a problem that we were already working on," Boehner told reporters. "Frankly, I think this is beneath the dignity of the White House."
Boehner said it was "pathetic" for Obama to make a swing through three battle-ground state colleges while pushing the student loan bill. "His campaign ought to be reimbursing the Treasury for the cost of this trip."
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate what he describes as Obama attempts at "passing off campaign travel as official events."
"The emperor has no clothes," Boehner said, arguing that Obama was devoting time to the student loan bill because he cannot talk about his record or more substantive policies.
Obama has visited the crucial battleground state of Florida on official business more than any other state this year, but White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says that the president and his campaign are following all the rules in dividing the cost of the Obama's travel.
"There are elements of his job that are always with him, regardless of whether he's in a campaign event or an official event," Carney told reporters last week. "And costs are apportioned accordingly."
Last night, the Obama campaign announced its first avowed campaign rally, as it declared the Republican primary over and the beginning of the general election.
"It doesn't even pass the straight-face test," Boehner added, heatedly. "You know it and I know it, so it's time for the Obama campaign to pony up and reimburse the Treasury."