WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, issued the following statement Tuesday after the Department of Interior (DOI) failed to respond to a June 18 letter from Udall and U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) calling on DOI Secretary David Bernhardt to provide information to Congress about the president’s reported Fourth of July plans and how the additional costs will be funded.
The senators, all members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, had set a response deadline of June 28, 2019.
“It is unacceptable that the Interior Department is failing to inform Congress about how it plans to spend taxpayer money to fund the president’s lavish July 4 plans, which reportedly include special access to the National Mall for the politically connected.
“American people deserve to know how much of their money the president is spending to turn their July 4 celebration into a de facto campaign rally. All reports indicate that the president is planning to turn a national day of unity into a day of vanity – trying to use the military for political purposes and doling out perks to his political backers – at the taxpayers’ expense. We need answers.”