Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), a 2020 candidate, sent a letter this week to the Trump Administration demanding answers on the costs associated with the president’s Fourth of July “Salute to America.”
The Salute to America occurred Thursday evening at the Lincoln Memorial. Ryan compared the military-themed event to North Korea and called it an “overt politicization of our Armed Forces.”
“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have a duty to avoid wasteful spending, be a good steward of taxpayer dollars, and promote accountability in the budget,” Ryan wrote in his letter, which was sent to Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.
“As you well know, our transportation infrastructure is aging and in dire need of repair. The Park Service has a deferred maintenance backlog estimated at $11.6 billion. Yet precious resources are being diverted to a public spectacle masquerading as a Trump campaign rally,” Ryan continued. “Current and former Pentagon officials have repeatedly advised against military-style parades as inordinately costly and reminiscent of dictatorships in China, North Korea, and Iran.”
In a statement released with the letter, Ryan said that President Trump has taken “what is supposed to be a day to celebrate our country,” and turned it into a “political rally.”
“The President is showboating and wasting taxpayer funding just to inflate his ego. Our Armed Forces and military assets are not political props. President Trump’s insistence on using them to advance his own political agenda is an insult to the brave men and women who put politics aside in service to our country,” he continued. “We know we’re the most powerful country in the world, we don’t need to brag about it. This isn’t North Korea.”
“So this is the party of fiscal conservationism?” Ryan wrote on Twitter in response.
So this is the party of fiscal conservatism? https://t.co/y145C1KUSG
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) July 3, 2019
Ryan’s full letter can be read here.
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Photo “Tim Ryan” by Friends of Tim Ryan. Background Photo by VOA News.