House Republicans are preparing to fund President Donald Trump’s big, beautiful parade, complete with armored vehicles and planes, so long as the equipment is not needed for war efforts.
News of Trump’s desire for a military parade “like the one in France” broke in February, and the Pentagon says they are drawing up plans for a Veteran’s Day parade and celebration in November.
The Department of Defense would still need money for the spectacle, which is why the Texas Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, plans to provide funding for the parade in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
Thornberry wants to tie the parade to the 100th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I to celebrate “a century of military service and focuses on the men and women who sacrificed to secure America’s freedoms,” according to a summary of the NDAA that the committee will consider Wednesday.
“Far too many American veterans and their families believe their sacrifices have not been given the public recognition that they deserve,” Thornberry said.
Veteran’s Day, which used to be called Armistice Day, is the perfect time to celebrate the war that created a “global order” which is “increasingly under threat from competitors like Russia and China,” Thornberry said.
Thornberry’s proposal would authorize “any kind of motorized vehicle, aviation platform, munition, operational military unit, or operational military platform,” for the parade that would likely march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., unless of course Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “believes such use will hamper readiness.”
Trump’s military parade proposal, which was inspired by his visit to France’s Bastille Day parade in July 2017, has been roundly criticized by Democrats and many Republicans for bearing the marks of authoritarianism and wasteful exhibitionism.
“We have a Napoleon [Bonaparte] in the making here,” Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, told Anderson Cooper in a CNN interview February, comparing Trump to the leader who led post-revolutionary France to become the dominant European empire.
“It’s not our style, it’s not the way we do business, and I really object to it,” Speier said. “And I think it’s going to cost a lot of money. So what’s really in it for the American people?”
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