Democratic members of Congress criticized reports that President Donald Trump had directed the military to plan for a parade in Washington, D.C.
Trump reportedly told the Pentagon he wanted a parade similar to the one in France he witnessed on Bastille Day.
But Democratic members of Congress lambasted the idea.
Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Marine veteran, said he served “the ideal of America; not a wannabe dictator.”
American exceptionalism is rooted in the power of our democratic ideals, not of our military hardware
I served for the ideal of America not a wannabe dictator. https://t.co/vjpI03CQhJ
California Rep. Ted Lieu, a veteran of the Air Force, laid out potential alternatives for Trump to show he really supports the military, such as having coherent strategies for North Korea, Afghanistan and Syria.
Dear @POTUS: If you want to honor our troops, here are things more useful than an expensive #militaryparade:
-Have a coherent N Korea strategy
-Nominate US Amb to S Korea
-Have a coherent Afghanistan strategy (we’ve been in 16 years)
-Have a coherent Syria strategy
-Deter Russia https://t.co/iXpOE4hKrT
Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz, who is the highest-ranking enlisted soldier in Congress, called the idea “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” on MSNBC.
WATCH: “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”@RepTimWalz says there’s “absolutely no justification” for the Pentagon spending dollars on a military parade at Trump’s request — instead, save the money and give the people of the armed forces a raise. #LastWord pic.twitter.com/hslDrt7ErV
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) February 7, 2018
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser wasn’t down with the idea.
— Fenit Nirappil (@FenitN) February 7, 2018
But Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said on CNN it was ultimately “the president’s call” whether there would be a military parade.
— New Day (@NewDay) February 7, 2018
When asked whether he would appropriate the money, Jordan said “we’ll have that debate” and “whether we need a parade or not, I’ll leave that up to the commander-in-chief.”
Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, who served in the Army, said on CNN that cost could be a factor in allowing a parade and he doesn’t “believe that we should have tanks and nuclear weapons going down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
“If there is an idea that could have a greater celebration, obviously I have a question, too, as far as costs go, but I’d be all for hearing out any ideas to make a more special July Fourth Independence Day experience here in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
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