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

Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Defense Department says "forever chemical" cleanup costs will dwarf earlier estimates Senators from both parties offer resolution to nix Trump emergency declaration to build wall MORE (D-N.M.) on Tuesday accused the Interior Department of refusing to answer an inquiry about President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat 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. 

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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 LeahyThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine On The Money: Trump delays increase in China tariffs until Oct. 15 | Treasury says US deficit topped trillion in 11 months | Defense spending bill advances over Democratic wall objections MORE (D-Vt.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenProgressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum Senators pressure Trump to help end humanitarian crisis in Kashmir Democratic candidates are building momentum for a National Climate Bank 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.