White House budget

Several days ago, visitor John M wrote:

In the Kennedy’s time the appropriation for an incoming First Family’s redecoration was $50,000. What is it now and what are they entitled to change without a governing groups approval? Does this amount include changes in the Oval Office?

I tried doing some research and didn’t get very far. I know the WH budget is about $8 million these days, but I think that’s the operating budget and may not include redecoration and repairs.

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3 thoughts on “White House budget

  1. I believe the Mansion and the West Wing are figured on seperate budgets as far as decorating, or really anything goes. The public rooms on the ground floor and state floor are protected from radical changes, ie. changing the Blue Room to Hot Pink etc. I believe the second and third floor rooms, ie. the private living quarters are free from too many restrictions. There may be exceptions in regard to the Lincoln and Queen Suites. J.B. West was an on camera guest during the ceremonies of President Reagan’s first inauguration (1981), he said that a first family could go as far as removing or adding walls if that’s what they wanted to do. An example of that he said was Mrs. Kennedy’s new 2nd floor family kitchen. I’d be interested in the allowed dollar amount myself. I’ll see what I can find out. You know, so I don’t spend more than they do at the White House on decorating.

  2. I remember reading in J.B. West’s classic “Upstairs at the White House” that President Eisenhower told him he had “a little money” leftover from his office appropriation and was wondering if Mrs. Eisenhower could use that for redecorating in the mansion and West told him that they could not, that the two must always remain seperate.

  3. I think anytime you hear “operating budget” numbers it can include a multitude of things. It may also include needs for staff salaries and equipment for the overflow into the EEOB.

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