The Pentagon and White House announced they would delay a military parade requested by President Trump, as the latest estimates put its costs at more than $90 million and the administration and military officials struggled to agree on what it should look like.
A Pentagon spokesman said Thursday that the parade originally was being planned for November 10, to honor veterans and to commemorate the centennial of World War I. But now, it may be delayed until 2019.
Critics say the government should not spend money on a costly display of troops and weapons when the Pentagon is struggling to cover the expenses of training, support and personnel.
Trump's military parade is now estimated to cost taxpayers $80 million more than the original figure.
Trump had originally come up with the idea of a parade celebrating America's military might after being wowed by France's Bastille Day parade past year. "When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it". "It was two hours on the button, and was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France".More news: Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin dies aged 76
But a U.S. official told AFP earlier Thursday the planning estimate had now gone as high as US$92 million, though no final figure has been reached.
Some social media users questioned the objective of the parade at all, and said instead the money should be used to directly help veterans. "Any cost estimates are pre-decisional". It also said there would be "wheeled vehicles only, no tanks - consideration must be given to minimise damage to local infrastructure".
The Pentagon said the parade was planned to travel from the White House to the Capitol, and would feature a "heavy air component at the end".
The US had a military parade in 1991 following the end of its successful campaign to force Saddam Hussein's troops out of Kuwait.
"We're going to have to try to top it", Trump reportedly joked to Macron at the UN General Assembly in September.