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Donald Trump’s ‘Salute to America’ Fourth of July event exhausts D.C. security fund

Hatchet File Photo
Mayor Muriel Bowser mandated that all D.C. government employees complete mandatory sexual harassment training in an order signed this week.

President Donald Trump’s July 4th celebration cost the District of Columbia about $1.7 million, depleting a fund earmarked for public safety.

D.C.’s Emergency Planning and Security Fund will tally a $6 million deficit at the end of fiscal year 2019 as a result of Trump’s Independence Day celebration, according to a letter Mayor Muriel Bowser sent to Trump Tuesday. Bowser called on Trump to repay the District for the Fourth of July event and to fully reimburse D.C. for the $7.3 million in security costs incurred during Trump’s inauguration celebration more than two years ago.

“It is critical that the EPSF is fully reimbursed for the fiscal year without incurring a deficit for federal activities,” Bowser wrote in the letter. “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.”

The D.C. government provided financial support for Trump’s “Salute to America” address and annual fireworks show held at the Lincoln Memorial and security for protests sparked by the speech.

Chris Rodriguez, the director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, told The Washington Post that the estimated costs for this year’s Independence Day celebrations were six times as much as previous years. He added that cost estimates could continue to grow as the District continues tallying expenses.

Bowser said in the letter that the $13 million Congress appropriates annually to D.C. for public safety does not fully cover the District’s costs, which have neared $16.5 million for the “past few years.” Unplanned recent events like President George H.W. Bush’s state funeral necessitated increased expenditures from the fund, the letter states.

“As Mayor of Washington, D.C., my greatest responsibility is to provide for the safety of our residents and national visitors,” Bowser wrote in the letter.

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