“Tanks but No Tanks!”
That’s what the D.C. Council, Washington’s local legislative body, had to say about President Trump’s plans to host a military celebration in the nation’s capital.
Other local politicians representing the mostly Democratic city chimed in Wednesday to rip Trump’s planned party.
Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser raised concerns about both the physical obstacle it’d impose on District of Columbia residents and “what it would suggest about our country and the direction our country is moving in.”
No White House official has been in contact with Bowser, she told a reporter Wednesday.
Del. Eleanor Norton Holmes, D-D.C., who cannot vote in the House of Representatives, said the parade would “waste of taxpayer dollars just to feed Trump’s ego.” She also called on Trump to use funds intended for the parade to assist veteran’s health care.
“If Trump really wanted to honor the men and women serving, how about pushing for full voting representation for the nearly 10,000 DC residents in active military duty and thousands more veterans, rather than a throwing a parade just to feed his own ego,” D.C. Council member Charles Allen, a Democrat, tweeted.
White House officials on Wednesday defended the proposed military celebration. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the Pentagon was considering options for the parade and cited Trump’s “affection for the military.”
Although it drew criticism, Trump’s idea for the parade isn’t new. Tanks and soldiers have rolled through D.C.’s streets before, but those were typically done to celebrate the end of wars.
Bowser noted the unexpected timing of this proposed march, saying, “Usually when you see big military parades, it’s celebrating the end of a war, and I don’t think that’s been announced.”
And on a day that brought a wintry mix to the District, the D.C. Council jumped on the opportunity for a lighter poke at the parade.
“The DC government will open on time today. DC Public Schools will open on time today,” the council tweeted. “Sadly, the Giant Tank Parade is cancelled. Permanently.”