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— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) February 7, 2018
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— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 7, 2018
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.
But Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said on CNN it was ultimately “the president’s call” whether there would be a military parade.
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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