President Trump DONALD JOHN TRUMPS&P 500 breaks 3,000 for first timeStrife between Seoul and Tokyo makes Kim Jong Un’s DMZ victory even more valuableChamber of Commerce hires former Giuliani, Cruz campaign aideMORE’s “Salute to America” celebration on the Fourth of July cost the D.C. government $1.7 million, bankrupting the city’s fund to protect the capital from terrorist threats and provide security at rallies and other events.
“[O]ur projections indicate that the [Emergency Planning and Security Fund] will be depleted following your additional July 4th holiday activities and subsequent first amendment demonstrations. The accrued amount for the July 4th holiday totals approximately $1.7 million,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) wrote in a letter to the White House Tuesday.
Bowser requested that the administration reimburse the city for its expenses, noting that future events like the 2021 presidential inauguration will put further strains on the security funds.
It is critical that the EPSF is fully reimbursed for these funds to ensure the District can uphold proper security and support during the remainder of the fiscal year without incurring a deficit for federal activities,” she wrote.
“As we continue to gather estimates for the next Inauguration, we ask for your help with ensuring the residents of the District of Columbia are not asked to cover millions of dollars of federal expenses and are able to maintain our high standards of protection for federal events.”
Chris Rodriguez, director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, told The Washington Post that this year’s July 4 celebration cost six times as much as in years past, noting that estimation could grow as the city continues to tally its expenses.
The event featured a speech from Trump at the Lincoln Memorial, flyovers from several fighter jets and Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. White House supporters and counterprotesters flocked to the National Mall for the event, drawing a large police presence meant to separate the two crowds.
Bowser also said that unplanned events such as the December funeral of President George H.W. Bush had helped deplete the fund.
The city’s EPSF is supported by federal money meant to reimburse the District for its unique public safety costs to defend the nation’s capital, including providing security at presidential inaugurations, visits by foreign officials and rallies.
The fund has shrunk in recent years, with city officials telling The Post that the Trump administration has never repaid more than $7 million of the $27.3 million in costs the city incurred securing the 2017 inauguration. Congress and the White House have also been putting less money into the fund than the city spends.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s nonvoting representative in Congress, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) called on House and Senate leaders last month to put an additional $6 million into the emergency fund.