President Trump’s dream of a massive, Bastille Day-style military parade could cost taxpayers up to $30 million, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday.
Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee that the cost of the star-spangled extravaganza — which the administration has called a tribute to US troops — would depend on how long it was, but would likely range anywhere from $10 million to $30 million, MarketWatch reported.
Pentagon brass are reportedly scratching their heads over how to pay for it, with Defense Secretary James Mattis saying he would offer the White House several options.
Trump gushed after seeing the annual Bastille Day Parade on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on July 14, saying “It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” and that “We’re going to have to try to top it.”
Earlier this year, he ordered the Pentagon to prepare a parade,“like the one in France.”
While the president said the parade would be more about the military than him, his critics disagreed.
“This parade would not only waste millions of taxpayer dollars, it would also cost our military precious time and resources,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a frequent Trump critic who has bashed the president for ducking military service in Vietnam because of bone spurs.
“Our troops in danger overseas don’t need a show of bravado, they need steady leadership, long-term funding and resources so they can stay safe while protecting and defending our nation.”
And Robert O’Neill, the Navy SEAL who took credit for killing Osama bin Laden, mocked the idea.
“A military parade is third world bulls–t,” O’Neill tweeted. “We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.”
But Vice President Pence — who condemned a military parade in North Korea timed to coincide with the opening of the Winter Olympics — told reporters it was a great idea.
“I think any opportunity we have to celebrate the men and women of the armed forces of the United States is a great day,” Pence said.