As the president pushes ahead with plans to host a costly Fourth of July speech at the Lincoln Memorial, city officials in Washington, D.C. reportedly have concerns about a still unpaid bill. According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration owes Washington, D.C. $7 million for expenses incurred during his 2017 inauguration.
Federal and city financial records obtained by The Washington Post showed that Trump's inauguration ended up costing $27.3 million and the city dipped into a special fund traditionally reserved for city security measures and event hosting to help cover the cost. That fund, the paper reported, is typically replenished with federal money but is now reportedly on track to fall short sometime in the fall if funds aren't replaced by Congress and the Trump administration. Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment.
A senior Trump administration official told The Post the administration had "worked closely with D.C." when the inauguration's cost exceeded expectations, deciding to use money from the city's security fund. They claimed the city had been paid the full amount of money sought by officials and that no additional money had been requested. But the paper reported D.C. officials disputed that claim, arguing they had indeed asked for additional funds and were still waiting to be repaid. The cost for Trump's inauguration went $7.3 million over estimates, according to The Hill.
Some city officials fear the security and events fund will soon see a deficit unless the Trump administration and Congress repay what is reportedly owed. "The point now is that the account has been drained, and being careful with the money has not been enough to make up for not being reimbursed" Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who serves as D.C.'s nonvoting representative in Congress, told The Post.
But D.C. isn't the only city to claim the president or his administration owes them money. Earlier this month, the Center for Public Integrity reported that 10 U.S. cities had reported Trump's campaign committee had yet to reimburse them for public-safety costs they incurred due to Trump rallies that dated back as far as the 2016 election. All together, the cities' invoices totaled $841,219 with the largest being one from El Paso, Texas, for $470,000 in costs incurred in February.
"I'm hopeful they'll pay. I'm hopeful they'll do what's right. People that don't pay their bills — that's a character integrity issue," El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said, per the Center for Public Integrity.
But despite a desire to see the remaining balance paid, city officials reportedly don't have plans to walk away from their current Fourth of July plans. "We have and will continue to work closely with our federal partners regardless of administration because ensuring the safety of our residents and visitors is paramount," John Falcicchio, chief of staff to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, told The Washington Post. "Our commitment to this function is iron clad, and all that we ask of our federal partners is continued cooperation and the resources to carry out these activities."