Beyer calls on Trump to reimburse taxpayers for damage from July 4 event

Don BeyerYesterday news reports revealed new details about President Trump’s plans to turn the annual Capital Region’s celebration of July Fourth into an authoritarian-style marshal display, including the inclusion of tanks which exceed the weight limit for Arlington Memorial Bridge and the distribution of tickets to VIP’s by the Republican National Committee.

In response Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who represents D.C. suburbs in Virginia including Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon, today issued the following statement:

“President Trump’s attempts to make the annual Independence Day celebration in the National Capital Region about himself are appalling. Even worse, the authoritarian-style trappings he demands, including tanks, will come at a great cost to taxpayers, and threaten significant harm to local roads and bridges.

“I am deeply concerned by the suggestion that the President’s insistence on displaying tanks could subject Arlington Memorial Bridge to strains grossly exceeding its weight restrictions. My colleagues and I had to fight for years to secure funding to repair the bridge, over which tens of thousands of my constituents commute every day.

“Since President Trump is turning the region’s beloved annual tradition into a campaign event focused on himself, he should personally reimburse U.S. taxpayers and local governments for any damage to local infrastructure.”

Beyer joined leaders from the regional delegation in attempts to secure funding to repair Arlington Memorial Bridge shortly after taking office. Those efforts were ultimately successful in securing the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to complete the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2021. While the project to fix serious structural defects continues, the National Park Service has imposed a 10-ton weight limit on the bridge, which prohibits large vehicles including city buses from crossing. An Abrams tank weighs over 60 tons.

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