The defense authorization bill signed by President Trump on Monday blocks use of “motorized units” for November event.
The estimated cost of the Trump administration's military parade, planned for Nov. 10 in Washington, reportedly has grown to $92 million, a 600 percent increase over the $12 million the Defense Department estimated in July.
According to CNBC, the parade is to include as many as eight tanks, along with other armored vehicles such as the Bradley and Stryker fighting vehicles and the M113 armored personnel carrier. The parade as currently conceived also would include a variety of aircraft, including helicopters, fighter jets and flyovers from historical planes.
But there is one problem with the proposal, which has not been officially announced: the Defense Department is legally barred from using any of those vehicles in the parade.
A provision in the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Trump on Monday, explicitly prohibits the use of tanks, planes or other vehicles from being used during the event.
“In providing support [for the parade], the secretary [of defense] may expend funds for the display of small arms and munitions appropriate for customary ceremonial honors and for the participation of military units that perform customary ceremonial duties,” the law states. “[The secretary] may not expend funds to provide motorized vehicles, aviation platforms [or] munitions other than the munitions specifically described [above].”
Trump issued a statement when he signed the law on Monday objecting to a number of provisions and suggesting he may not enforce some aspects of the bill. But he did not mention the provision outlining how funds may be spent on the military parade.
Update: The Pentagon announced Thursday night that it would delay the parade until 2019.