The Salute to America event on July 4, which paid tribute to the armed forces, cost the federal government and Washington over $5 million, according to ABC News.
This included $2.45 million from The Interior Department and National Park Service on logistics for the event including staffing, medical services, barricades.
The city of Washington and the Department of Defense spent $2.9 million, which includes Salute to America event and security cost, making the total cost of the event to $5.35 million, according to ABC News.
National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith, said money spent for the event was worth it as the event created publicity and got broadcast from television networks.
“If you could tell me that for $2.5 million additional dollars the exposure we got from this televised event, it’s a great bang for the buck,” he told ABC News.
Smith said the cost for event did not take away from any planned maintenance projects or deferred maintenance because it came from a fund intended for parks that don’t collect fees, according to ABC News.
Last week the Washington Post reported that the National Park Service had redirected $2.5 million from its overall budget to pay for the Salute to America event.
Earlier, several Senate Democrats wanted to investigate the cost for the event by requesting the Government Accountability Office to look into whether the money for the event was spent properly, saying that they are “concerned by the impact and the precedent of diverting limited federal resources” for the July Fourth events.
Before the event, President Trump defended the spending, saying “The cost of our great Salute to America tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth. 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!”
The cost of our great Salute to America tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2019
President Donald Trump on Monday, July 8, said that the administration is planning a repeat of the Salute to America Fourth of July festivities.
President Trump said it was “a wonderful day for all Americans” and that, “based on its tremendous successes,” his administration has “made the decision to do it again next year and maybe we can say for the foreseeable future.”