WASHINGTON — Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., on Thursday tried to throw up a legislative roadblock to prevent President Donald Trump from actually mustering troops for large-scale military parade.
Illinois Democratic Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin said on Wednesday if Trump proceeds with a big parade, it would be a big waste of taxpayer money, better spent on the troops and their families.
Schneider’s bill, titled the “Preparedness Before Parades Act,” if it became law, would require the Secretary of Defense to certify to Congress that any parade, “will have no effect on the military readiness or budgetary needs of the Armed Forces.”
Two sly provisions in this long-shot bill, since Republicans control the House and Senate: The measure would also require approval from “any municipality” where the parade would be conducted — Trump said he wants it in Washington. It is highly unlikely the D.C. mayor would go along with this, given local politics in this Democratic city and the likelihood that tanks rolling down city streets would create a lot of damage. The measure would also force half of the costs of the parade to be taken out of funds allocated for Trump to run his White House.
“After more than a decade and a half of combat and years of unnecessary budget dysfunction, we are stretching our military to the breaking point,” said Schneider in a statement. “I have severe concerns about the cost, diversion of resources, and effect on readiness of a large-scale parade seemingly conceived only to please the whims of the President. The best way to honor our men and women in uniform is by supplying the training, equipment, and support they need to succeed on the battlefield and get them back home safely. This bill ensures our military leaders are consulted and that any parades do not distract from their critical missions.”