On Tuesday, Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington D.C. wrote a scathing letter to Donald Trump. In the letter, she requested that the federal government fully reimburse the city for Trump’s ‘Salute to America’ 4th of July celebration.
The July event cost the District of Columbia $1.7 million completely bankrupting the cities fund to protect the capital from terrorist threats or to provide any type of security for rallies or other types of events.
“Our projections indicate that the EPSF [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.
Bowser went on to request that the Trump administration fully reimburse the city for the expenses. Bowser noted that any future events such as the 2021 presidential inauguration would add more strain on the district’s 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,” Bowser 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, recently spoke with the Washington Post, stating that Trump’s ‘Salute to America’ event cost six times more than any event in the past. He added that the cost could increase as the city continues to calculate expenses.
“President Trump led our Nation in a great ‘Salute to America’ and recognized the brave sacrifice our service men and women have made throughout history. We have received the letter and will respond in a timely manner,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement.
White House supporters and counter-protesters gathered at the National Mall for the event, which resulted in the need for a large police presence.
Bowser adds that unplanned events such as the December funeral of President George H.W. Bush also added to the depletion of the fund.
The city’s EPSF is supported by federal money meant to reimburse the District for its unique public safety costs. The funds are used to defend the nation’s capital, provide security at presidential inaugurations, visits by foreign officials, rallies and protests.
Over the past few years, the fund has shrunk and city officials state that the Trump administration has not paid back over $7 million of the $27.3 million in costs the city incurred for Trump’s inauguration.
Since Trump took office Congress and the White House have been putting less money in the find that the city spends.
Last month, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s nonvoting representative in Congress, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen called on House and Senate leaders to add an additional $6 million into the emergency fund.
In addition to the costs incurred by the Interior Department and National Park Service spent $2.45 million on Trump’s “Salute to America,” while the Pentagon estimated that the military spent $1.2 million — bringing the total estimated known cost for the event is $5.35 million.