National Park Service reportedly diverting $2.5 million from budget to pay for Trump's July 4 event
WASHINGTON - This year’s Fourth of July is about to get a whole lot more expensive for taxpayers.
The Washington post reported on Wednesday that the National Park Service is diverting roughly $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees from parks across the country in order to pay for Trump’s celebration on the National Mall on Thursday.
Trump's Fourth of July extravaganza, which he said will be “the show of a lifetime” will include lavish displays of military hardware, a jet aircraft show featuring Air Force One, as well as a deployment of tanks on the National Mall. To top it off, there will be an extended fireworks show.
According to the Washington Post, two individuals who spoke under the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue confirmed that the National Park Service was transferring funds on Tuesday, but the money from the National Park Service reportedly represents a fraction of the cost of the entire event.
While it remains unclear just how expensive the whole event will be, legislators are preparing themselves for the huge bill.
“We haven’t heard anything,” New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, ranking Democrat for the Senate Appropriations Committee Panel on Interior and Related Agencies told the Washington Post. “It’s disturbing.”
The spectacle certainly won’t come cheap. University of Denver Professor Andrew Sherbo told NPR that the Boeing 747 used for Air Force One could cost upwards of $250,000 an hour.
The Federal Aviation Administration also said it would suspend operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for 1.5 hours for the July 4 flyovers.
“Operations will also be impacted from 9:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. for the fireworks demonstration,” the FAA announced.
On Wednesday morning Trump downplayed the cost of the event on Twitter, saying that it will be very little compared to “what it’s worth.”
He added, “We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel. We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats. Nice!”
When asked in an email if the National Park Service would divert funds for the “salute to America” event, the National Park Service Office of Public Affairs said, “The Department of the Interior is committed to providing the American people a fantastic celebration of our nation’s birthday.”
“We are doing so consistent with the Department’s mission and historical practices. We hope everyone enjoys the Fourth."
This story was reported from Los Angeles.