District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser says the cost of Donald Trump’s Fourth of July celebration, in addition to the cost of addressing recent protests, has emptied out a municipal fund used to provide security for public events and defend against terrorist threats, according to USA Today.
In a letter to Trump dated July 9, Bowser said the city spent approximately $1.7 million on Trump’s “July 4th holiday activities and subsequent first amendment demonstrations”. Now, the city’s Emergency Planning and Security Fund (EPSF) will more than likely be depleted before the end of the fiscal year.
Bowser asked the Trump administration to help in covering D.C.’s security costs, citing “declining reserves, increased demand for heightened security, and a one-time drawdown of $7.3 million to cover security costs associated with the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.”
Mayor Bowser said, “This large, one-time cost has been compounded by Congress only appropriating approximately $13 million to the EPSF for the past few years (when our annual expenditures near $16.5 million), and some unplanned large events such as the state funeral for the late President George H.W. Bush.”
She continued, “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.”
In Trump’s usual fashion, he deviated from the traditional Fourth of July speech and included tank displays, plane flyovers, fireworks, and a speech. Trump critics argued that the speech politicized what was previously viewed as a nonpartisan holiday tradition. Demonstrators featured a “Baby Trump” balloon and a “Dump Trump” robot in protest.
Some protests were a bit more hostile; a brief scuffle outside the White House following a flag-burning protest on July 4 and counter-protests between the Proud Boys and Antifa broke out on July 6.