Houston Hotel Bush Calls Home Files for Bankruptcy

Reuters

The owners of a hotel that President Bush lists as his official residence have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Burdened with about $28.6 million in debt, mostly from renovations to the 300-room Houstonian Hotel and Conference Center, the owners filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday after four years of unsuccessful talks with creditors. The filing is not expected to affect hotel operations.

A suite at the hotel has long served as Bush's official residence for tax and voting purposes, although he rarely visits Houston and spends much of the summer at his home in Kennebunkport, Me.

Texas Democratic Party leaders took note of the bankruptcy protection filing, saying it may help the President understand the economic troubles affecting millions of other Americans.

"I think this might help him get the message," said Ed Martin, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. "Most people understand economic problems when something personal happens to them."

Texas Democrats have accused Bush of maintaining his Houston residence to avoid paying state income taxes, since Texas has none.

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