The White House has confirmed Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, are spending this week on St. Croix, continuing a family tradition of spending New Year’s Eve in the U.S. Virgin Islands they have kept every year at least since Biden became vice president in 2008.
There were rampant rumors of the Bidens’ arrival on Virgin Islands blogs, and the Federal Aviation Administration issued flight restrictions early Thursday affecting St. Croix through Jan. 1.
At 5:55 p.m., Friday, Government House issued a statement saying the White House had announced the Bidens will vacation on St. Croix from Friday through Wednesday.
The vice president’s brother owns property on Water Island, the small island just south of St. Thomas’ Crown Bay. The Bidens vacationed on Water Island in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and on St. Croix in 2011, 2012 and, now, in 2013.
There are no public events scheduled and there are no planned meetings between Biden and Gov. John deJongh Jr., according to Government House, which directed questions to the White House Press Office.
Phone calls and emails left at the White House Press Office were not returned as of 7 p.m. A recorded message said that staff had been cut due to Congress’s sequester budget cuts and, as a result, no calls would be answered.