Trump's Military Parade Would Be Endorsed Under Republican Bill

(Bloomberg) -- House Republicans are preparing to endorse President Donald Trump’s plan for a military parade in the nation’s capital, with warfighting vehicles rolling down city streets and planes flying overhead.

The display in Washington would be authorized under the Republican-proposed draft for the annual defense policy measure, according to a bill summary released Friday. The measure is scheduled to be taken up by the House Armed Services Committee on May 9.

The parade would look back “on a century of military service and focuses on the men and women who sacrificed to secure America’s freedoms,” according to the summary released by committee chairman Mac Thornberry, a Texas Republican. “Far too many American veterans and their families believe their sacrifices have not been given the public recognition that they deserve.”

Trump said in February that he wanted a parade if it could be done at a “reasonable” cost.
A committee Republican spokesman said Friday that specific funding for the parade isn’t set in the legislation.

Veteran’s Day

Trump said in February that the parade would probably be on Veteran’s Day in November and take a route along Pennsylvania Avenue, a main thoroughfare that runs between the White House and the Capitol building. Trump was impressed by the military display of armaments when he attended France’s Bastille Day parade last year and asked the Pentagon to come up with a plan for a similar event in Washington.

Initial Pentagon planning is under way, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, said last month.

Democrats have complained that a parade would be a waste of time and money, and that Trump is seeking to distract from probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“We have a Napoleon in the making here,” Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who serves on the Armed Services panel, said on CNN in February.

The House measure would authorize the use “any kind of motorized vehicle, aviation platform, munition, operational military unit, or operational military platform,” unless the defense secretary believes “its use will affect its readiness.”

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