U.S. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney estimates President Donald Trump’s proposed military parade would cost taxpayers as much as $30 million.
“I’ve seen various different cost estimates of between $10 and $30 million depending on the size of the parade,” he told the House Budget Committee Wednesday.
The administration reportedly is considering holding the parade on Veteran’s Day, observed annually in the U.S. on November 11.
Mulvaney told lawmakers funding for the event was not included in Trump’s proposed 2019 budget because discussions about it had just recently begun. Mulvaney said the Trump administration would have to collaborate with Congress “if we decide to move forward” with the parade.
Last week, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters the Pentagon is in the early stages of planning and still considering options. Trump proposed holding a parade in Washington after seeing a Bastille Day military demonstration in Paris in July.
There is bipartisan opposition to the proposal in Congress, much of it from lawmakers who say a parade would be perceived around the world as dictatorial.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he would agree to a parade that honors members of the armed forces, but that a “Soviet-style” parade featuring large military weapons would be a sign of “weakness.”
Senator John Kennedy, also a Republican, told reporters one week ago, “I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud.” Kennedy added: “America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don’t need to show it off.”
Other lawmakers who oppose a parade have said money for a parade would be put to better use on services to help disabled veterans.