Independence Day is just around the corner, and President Donald Trump has a plan that could cost an exorbitant amount of money. According to The Washington Post, Trump wants to host a military parade this year — and his critics are not happy about it. So will Trump's Fourth of July celebration have tanks? Washington D.C.'s city council had the best response to this request.
The president requested everything from fighter jets to tanks to showcase American military prowess at this year's Independence Day celebration in D.C. However, the D.C. Council does not intend to support this request.
“We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks," the council tweeted on Monday."
Council officials also included a memo from the Department of Defense (DOD) in their tweet, which urged the White House to refrain from driving tanks through D.C. streets. "Consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure," the Pentagon's memo read. National Park Service officials also expressed concern about Trump's request to bring tanks to the Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Post reported, because they could damage the site.
But Trump's desire to host a military parade goes well beyond putting tanks in strategic places. He has ordered military aircraft to fly over the parade, and wants the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines to stand next to him as he delivers his "Salute to America."
Trump has wanted to hold a military parade in the United States ever since he attended France's Bastille Day parade in 2017, New York Magazine reported this week. In fact, he approached the DOD early last year to start planning a similar event stateside, per CNN, but that parade was ultimately scrapped last summer after officials estimated that it would cost nearly $100 million.
It looks like the president hasn't given up on his dream of a military parade, however — much to the concern of his critics. Phil Francis, who chairs the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, told The Washington Post that “it’s irresponsible to ask the National Park Service to absorb the costs of an additional and political event when there are so many unmet needs in the parks." Meanwhile, anti-Trump protesters are hoping to bring the infamous Trump baby blimp to the Fourth of July festivities in D.C.; the blimp became notorious following its appearances at anti-Trump protests in the United Kingdom.
Some critics have also argued that a display of American military might on Independence Day contradicts the country's position as a democracy, and even more have slammed the president for making the Fourth of July a costly event for taxpayers. According to NBC News, Democratic lawmakers are calling on Trump to avoid using taxpayer money to politicize Independence Day.
Trump's Salute to America will give off the "appearance of a televised, partisan campaign rally on the Mall at public expense," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer claimed in a letter to the administration. Hoyer told NBC News that the Fourth of July should not be about "politics in the partisan sense" but instead about democracy. Elite Daily has reached out to the White House for comment on the criticisms, but did not hear back.
The president's various requests for military equipment at D.C.'s Fourth of July celebration might be a cause for alarm for some, but if the D.C. Council has any control over the situation, the city's residents probably don't have to worry just yet about seeing tanks rolling down their streets.