Mayor de Blasio sending White House $35M bill to cover cost of keeping Trump Tower secure
Mayor de Blasio is sending the Obama administration a $35 million bill for the cost of securing Trump Tower from the time President-elect Donald Trump won the race through Jan. 20 — an average of over $400,000 a day, officials said on Monday.
De Blasio, in a press conference with Police Commissioner James O'Neill, said that he is sending a letter to President Obama laying out the costs.
He also said he called Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to talk about security reimbursement costs after Trump takes office.
"We had a good conversation," said de Blasio.
He added, "He's a native New Yorker, so I think that is a helpful reality."
The $35 million bill, which covers Nov. 8 through Jan. 20, covers pretty much all of the reimbursement costs.
De Blasio has repeatedly said he expects the city to be paid back for the huge costs of providing security for the new First Family.
But as the Daily News reported on Sunday, some municipalities in other parts of the country have struggled to be reimbursed, and found the cost of monitoring a hometown president a huge drain on the budget.
In the city's letter to the Obama, signed by de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, called the security for Trump "unprecedented in America's most dense and populous city., in terms of personnel required, geHowever, the letter notes that the city is ineligible for funding under the Presidential Protection Act of 1976, which only covers jurisdictions with a population of less than 7,000. Reimbursements under that act cap at $300,000. ographic scope, and duration."
Because the NYPD can't decrease security in other parts of the city, cops around Trump Tower are "primarily [working] on an overtime basis."
The letter reminds Obama that the city has been reimbursed for other national events, like the 2004 Republican National Convention.
In a separate letter to Congress also asking for funds, the mayor and Mark-Viverito ask to be refunded a Justice Department grant program which has been used in the past for presidential transitions.
Officials said they will fight to have that cap raised.
De Blasio's comments come shortly after a half-dozen New York City congressmen sent a letter to him and Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying they should refuse to pay to help Trump keep his family in Trump Tower while he's president, citing both the big price tag for the protection and the traffic jams it's creating in Midtown.
"Municipal or state resources should not be subsidizing the President-Elect's decision to maintain multiple permanent residences," the letter reads.
"For all these reasons, we respectfully request that New York City and the state refuse to pay additional security costs associated with maintaining a second residence at Trump Tower once the President-Elect is inaugurated. Should the President-Elect choose to maintain two permanent residences for his family, it is reasonable to request he reimburse the city and the state for all additional security expenses from his own significant personal financial resources."
The letter, spearheaded by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn), was signed by Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan), Grace Meng (D-Queens), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) and Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn).
Velasquez said, "The simplest solution would be for the First Family to relocate to Washington, D.C. rather than maintaining a second, full-time residence. City taxpayers shouldn't be paying these costs and it seems reasonable to ask President-elect Trump to chip in or foot the bill."
O'Neill said that post-inauguration costs for Trump's family haven't been worked out yet with the Secret Service. Trump's wife Melania and son Barron plan to continue to live in Manhattan so he can finish his school year.