U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced a bill Thursday that looks to curb President Donald Trump’s request for a large-scale military parade.
During the Senate debate last year regarding the National Defense Authorization Act, Cardin introduced an amendment (H. Con. Res. 71) that would restrict the military from using parades to display their might. Ultimately, it never got the opportunity to be voted on. Cardin’s new bill looks to “prohibit the use of funds for an exhibition or parade of military forces and hardware for review by the president outside of authorized military operations or activities.”
“This has been a concern of mine, not just because of the president’s recent comments,” Cardin said Friday. “When he made them, I decided to file this as a bill because we show our support for our men and women in the armed services by our actions, by passing the type of support for our soldiers and by giving them the equipment they need to carry out their mission. We pass legislation to protect our veterans and give them the healthcare that they need.”
Cardin called a parade in the style that Trump envisions as something one generally sees “from countries that are trying to impress the world about their military power when they really don’t have much.”
“The United States doesn’t have to impress anyone,” Cardin added. “There are better ways of spending this money.”
When asked what he thinks Trump hopes to gain from the display, Cardin said, “I really don’t know.”
“He says it’s to show respect for our military, but we show respect for our military by our actions and a parade is not necessary to do that,” the senator said. “The cost is pretty extreme. I don’t have the exact numbers, but if you were to parade a significant amount of our military arms, that has a significant cost. There’s also the potential damage costs by moving the equipment. The United States is not a country where the leaders shows off their armaments as the powers of the leader. That’s not what we do in America.”
Andy Belt is a reporter for the Baltimore Jewish Times.