President Donald Trump’s July Fourth event and protests surrounding it cost the Washington government approximately $1.7 million and drained the city’s fund for security, according to Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The Emergency Planning and Security Fund will be depleted before the end of the 2019 fiscal year and will stand more than $6 million over budget, Bowser said in a letter to the President on Tuesday, citing recent estimates by the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
Bowser requested that the Trump administration commit to fully reimbursing the fund, which provides for public safety at events in DC and response support to terrorist threats or attacks in the district, and accommodates requests from the US Secret Service.
“(W)e 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,” Bowser wrote.
The Washington Post first reported Bowser’s letter to Trump.
A White House spokesman, Judd Deere, said the White House has received the letter “and will respond in a timely manner.”
“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,” Deere said in a statement.
In the letter, the DC mayor also cited $7.3 million in expenses from Trump’s 2017 inauguration, “increased demand for heightened security” and “unplanned large events” like the state funeral for President George H.W. Bush as factors contributing to the fund’s depletion.
Bowser said Congress has appropriated about $13 million for the fund “for the past few years” while the city’s annual expenditures near $16.5 million.
“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.
Trump’s unprecedented July Fourth celebration, which featured military flyovers, tanks, music and remarks from the President, drew scrutiny for exorbitant spending. Despite the criticism, Trump has said he intends to bring back the event in 2020 and “for the foreseeable future.”