DC mayor says city's security fund is bankrupt
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) -- D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says the District will have the last word in a fight to get the White House to reimburse the city for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.
Bowser says the $7 million for security has never been repaid, a claim the White House is now disputing.
"We asked for it certainly. The inauguration was in January of 2017 and in the federal request that followed, we followed with the White House. Anything that now needs to happen that is not included in the president's proposal we are going to seek from our congressional appropriators," said Bowser.
Last week, Bowser sent a letter to President Trump telling him that the city's emergency fund to provide security for the first amendment and other events was bankrupt and that the city would be more than $6 million in the hole by the end of this fiscal year, which is September.
The District spent more than six times what it would ordinarily spend to provide security for the Fourth of July when the president decided to move the fireworks and give a speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
In the letter to the president, the mayor points out that the number of first amendment protests have jumped in the last two years and the city has also had to provide security for the funeral of President George H. W. Bush.
The White House is taking issue with the claim the city is owed more than $7 million for the 2017 inauguration.
In a statement to FOX 5, a senior White House official said, in part:
"The Trump administration worked closely with the D.C. Government with the FY18 budget and found the remaining costs of the 2017 inauguration could be paid with the carryover funds from the emergency planning and security account.
Since then, the D.C. Government has not asked for additional funds for the inauguration in the president's FY19 and FY20 budget. "
"They won't have the last word. I think you know the president makes a proposal and the Congress has the power of the purse and our congresswoman with one of the senators from Maryland has produced a bill to make sure not only that security fund is where it should be, but that we are preparing for the next inauguration," said Bowser.
When FOX 5 talked to city councilmember Charles Allen about this last week, he said the bills are being paid but the District government will have to dip into its reserves if the fund is not replenished in the next couple of months.