Trump’s military parade would cost between $10 million and $30 million, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on Wednesday.
Mulvaney offered the estimate during questioning at the House Budget Committee. He said the White House hasn’t yet budgeted for the parade and would either rely on Congress to appropriate funds or use money that already has been approved.
“The estimates I’ve seen, they’re very preliminary, is between 10 [million dollars] and 30 [million dollars] depending upon the length,” Mulvaney said. “Obviously an hour parade is different from a five-hour parade in terms of the cost and the equipment and those types of things.”
It was the first cost estimate for the military parade Trump has directed the Pentagon to plan later this year. Democrats and some Republicans have questioned the need for such an event, suggesting it could have authoritarian overtones depending on how it’s conducted.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) voiced such concerns when she posed the question to Mulvaney.
“I want to ask you about this military parade the president is proposing, you know, the parade that is very similar to those held in authoritarian countries, like in North Korea,” Lee said. “How much is that parade going to cost and where is that money coming from?”
Mulvaney told Lee that “We’ve actually had military parades in this country before,” including as recently as the 1990s. Although Mulvaney did not specify what he was referring to, a parade was held in Washington in 1991 to celebrate the U.S. victory in the first Gulf War. More than 8,o00 U.S. troops participated in the event that included helicopters, tanks and fireworks.
That parade cost about $12 million in 1991, which would be about $21 million or $22 million in today’s dollars.
Trump has directed his generals to plan a parade for later this year to showcase U.S. military might. The date and location have not been determined. The inspiration was France’s Bastille Day celebration last year, which Trump attended in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, and apparently found very impressive.
“We’ve not accounted for it in this year’s budget simply because it’s come up at the last minute,” Mulvaney told Lee. “So we’ll continue to work with you folks if we decide to push forward with that initiative.
“I’ve seen various different cost estimates from between I think $10 million and $30 million depending on the size of the parade, the scope of it, the length of it, those types of things,” he said.