WASHINGTON – District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser government says that the cost of President Donald Trump's Fourth of July celebration and the cost of addressing recent protests has emptied out a municipal fund used to provide security for public events and defend against terrorist threats.
In a letter to Trump dated July 9, Bowser says the city spent about $1.7 million on Trump's "July 4th holiday activities and subsequent first amendment demonstrations," as a result, the city's Emergency Planning and Security Fund (EPSF) will likely be empty before the end of the fiscal year.
Bowser asked for the Trump administration's help in covering D.C.'s security costs, citing "declining reserves, increased demand for heightened security, and a one-time draw down of $7.3 million to cover security costs associated with the 2017 Presidential Inauguration."
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"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," Bowser added.
"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," Bowser concluded.
Trump's Fourth of July speech marked a departure from tradition as it included tank displays, plane flyovers, fireworks, and a speech from the president. Trump's critics had argued the speech threatened to politicize what had previously been a nonpartisan holiday tradition. Demonstrators brought along a "Baby Trump" balloon and a "Dump Trump" robot to protest the president.
Some protests grew more heated. A brief scuffle broke out outside the White House following a flag-burning protest on July 4, and dueling protests and counter-protests between the Proud Boys and Antifa and other counter-protesters took place on July 6.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DC mayor says Trump's Fourth of July celebration emptied security fund