It has been recently revealed that an early estimate showed a cost of over $1 million per day to protect president-elect Donald Trump in his New York City home. The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, is asking Congress for a new figure that budgets that daily cost at around $500,000. In total, de Blasio is asking Congress for approximately $35 million in reimbursements for the city of New York.
On Monday, December 5th, de Blasio stated his intention to send letters throughout the government sphere in the hopes of initiating a process for officially reimbursing the costs of security measures deemed necessary for Trump. The funds he is requesting will cover costs incurred between election day on November 8th through the 20th of January.
According to the letter that de Blasio intends to send out, Trump and his family not only live in a residence located in midtown, but they live in a skyscraper filled with people, surrounded by other buildings also filled with people. At any given time, the president-elect is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people within just a few blocks.
In de Blasio’s letter to Congress, he stressed that the urban nature of Trump’s locale made it much more difficult to adequately secure the area. The target is unique for any who decide to take an opportunity for terrorism, and the letter goes on to state that Trump’s building is adjacent to a number of high-priority landmarks, and that Trump is the first president-elect in history to live in such a dense area.
It seems that de Blasio felt the need to send these letters because there is no automatic method in place for the federal government to reimburse a city government for the high costs of protecting the president-elect. If that were true, and it seems to be, it would mean the city of New York and its taxpayers would be footing the entire bill for Trump’s protection within their own city.
In 1976, a federal code was enacted that allowed cities to seek repayments from the federal government for such expenses, but that statute only allows cities of 7,000 people or less to make such claims. To showcase the direness of the situation, de Blasio points out how insufficient that law is for this case.
The letter to Congress also states that funds for such expenses have been appropriated in the past, and that this situation with Trump is the perfect instance of a time when that sort of appropriation is needed again.
When Trump takes office in January, the cost of protecting him and his family is not going to drop. His wife and their youngest son, Barron, will still live at Trump Tower while Barron finishes the school year, and Trump has already stated his plans to visit them regularly.
The federal government will need to work closely with New York City and de Blasio if they hope to keep the transition smooth. There will need to be a way for NYC to be reimbursed for all security costs that should fall under the budget of the secret service.
The city of New York expects that costs associated with protecting Trump and his family will continue to rise, and they also expect the obligation to pay for such services to fall onto them. In de Blasio’s letter to Obama, he spoke to the need for an ongoing method of corresponding and keeping track of expenses.
Police overtime pay was one of the main concerns for de Blasio, especially with the number of officers who have had to work excessive hours protecting the president-elect.