Senate Democrat: Interior secretary ignored questions about funding for Trump's July 4 celebration

Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSenate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA Overnight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons Senate panel advances Turkey sanctions bill despite Trump objections MORE (D-N.M.) on Tuesday accused the Interior Department of refusing to answer an inquiry about President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE's Independence Day plans, including how the additional cost of the plans will be covered. 

“It is unacceptable that the Interior Department is failing to inform Congress about how it plans to spend taxpayer money to fund the president’s lavish July 4th plans, which reportedly include special access to the National Mall for the politically connected," Udall, the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, said in a statement. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Udall also accused Trump of using taxpayer money on "a de facto campaign rally."

"The American people deserve to know how much of their money the president is spending to turn their July 4th celebration into a de facto campaign rally," he added. "All reports indicate that the president is planning to turn a national day of unity into a day of vanity – trying to use the military for political purposes and doling out perks to his political backers – at the taxpayers’ expense. We need answers."

"We will respond as appropriate," Interior Department spokeswoman Molly Block told The Hill in a statement on Tuesday. She did not elaborate. 

Udall, along with Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyHorowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe Horowitz: 'We found no bias' in decision to open probe Horowitz: 'Very concerned' about FBI leaks to Giuliani MORE (D-Vt.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices | Senate confirms Trump FDA pick | Trump officials approve Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina Senate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling MORE (D-Md.), wrote a letter last month to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt asking for details on the Independence Day plan and how the costs will be funded. 

Trump has said he plans to speak at the Lincoln Memorial and said Monday that there will be military tanks at the event.