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Eleanor Holmes Norton to Trump: Fund veterans’ health care, don’t have a parade

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) on Wednesday ripped President Trump over his proposed military parade, saying that he should instead use the money to fund health care for veterans.

Trump has instructed Pentagon officials to plan a grand military parade, which officials have confirmed is in the planning stages.

“A military parade in DC would shut down the nation’s capital and waste taxpayer dollars just to feed Trump’s ego,” Norton tweeted. “The way to show our service members and veterans that we appreciate their service is to use the parade money to fund their health care and other services they need.”

Officials told The Washington Post, which first reported on the proposal for a military parade, that such an event could cost millions and that they did not yet have a plan on how to pay for it. Washington, D.C., officials said that they have not been contacted about logistics for the parade, which will reportedly take place around Veterans Day.

Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in having a military parade in the past, including reportedly seeking tanks and missiles to take part in his Inauguration Day parade, an idea that was later abandoned.

Opponents of the idea have said that it would make the U.S. look “totalitarian” in its display of military strength and could even provoke North Korea. On a logistical level, some have expressed concern that the weight of military tanks could do significant damage to Washington’s roads.

The D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) have both pushed back on the idea. Bowser said Wednesday that if Trump wants to have a parade, he “will have to pay for it” himself.

And Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, said she was “stunned” by the reports, calling the president “a Napoleon in the making.”

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