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Feds to De Blasio: Drop Dead

By Jeff Mays | December 7, 2016 1:52pm
 Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will fight Congress's decision to reimburse New York City for only 20 percent, or $7 million of the $35 million that the NYPD will spend to protect President-elect Donald Trump, his family and Trump Tower through the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will fight Congress's decision to reimburse New York City for only 20 percent, or $7 million of the $35 million that the NYPD will spend to protect President-elect Donald Trump, his family and Trump Tower through the Jan. 20 inauguration.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

NEW YORK CITY — He's not taking no for an answer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed Wednesday to fight Congress' refusal to reimburse the full $35 million the NYPD is spending to protect President-elect Donald Trump and his family through the Jan. 20 inauguration — saying the paltry $7 million offered is insufficient.

"I'm disappointed. I think they should have done better by New York City but this ain't over," de Blasio said on the Brian Lehrer Show Wednesday.

"There's plenty of time for us to recoup the money we deserve."

A Republican-led panel added only $7 million to a short term funding bill to reimburse New York City for its costs on Tuesday. That would only cover 14 days of protection at Trump Tower at the current cost of approximately $473,000 per day.

►READ MORE: Here's What We Know About the Trump Tower Security Plan

Congress' decision drew immediate rebuke from New York City lawmakers.

“I am extremely disappointed that the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government does not fully reimburse the people of New York for the unprecedented security costs incurred to keep the President-elect and his family safe between the election and his inauguration," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a statement on behalf of the New York City congressional delegation.

"While I have no doubt that the NYPD will continue to do its part to secure the area around Trump Tower and meet the Secret Service’s high standard,  our great city shouldn't have to foot the bill for these extraordinary security measures all by ourselves."

►READ MORE: Mayor de Blasio Asks Feds for $35M Reimbursement for Trump Security

Trump set up his transition headquarters at his penthouse residence on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th streets and has been interviewing potential cabinet members there since he won the Nov. 8 election.

The NYPD and the Secret Service have developed a short-term security plan for the busy area which includes closing streets, creating a bag checkpoint and implementing truck restrictions. Two lanes of Fifth Avenue near Trump Tower are closed.

More than 100 officers have been deployed in the area, including members of the elite heavily-armed terrorism response team, 50 traffic officers and police officers on the rooftops of nearby buildings and around the perimeter of Trump Tower.

Much of the costs go towards paying personnel, specifically overtime, city officials said.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilman Dan Garodnick launched a petition last week calling for the federal government to fully reimburse the city. House Democrats have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to not pay extra security costs once Trump is sworn in as president.

Mark-Viverito said it was "outrageous" that the federal government only wanted to cover a "fraction" of the security costs.

“New York City cannot single handedly shoulder the staggering cost of protecting the President-elect and his family," said Mark-Viverito. "The President-elect and Congress must commit to repaying NYPD, the taxpayers, and our City. We will not accept anything else.”

►READ MORE: Petition Demands That Trump Reimburse New York City for Security Costs

Trump administration officials say he is likely to regularly spend time in his Trump Tower penthouse during his presidency. Trump's wife and son are also likely to stay in the city through at least the end of the school year.

De Blasio said the NYPD will continue to provide protection for Trump, his family and Trump Tower as they work out a long-term plan for security. The NYPD is in "strategic discussions with the Secret Service" to develop that plan, he said.

The mayor said he will continue to push Congress for funding and was optimistic about the outcome because the city has been reimbursed for security costs under previous situations such as the visit by the Pope.

But he also called the Trump security scenario "unprecedented" for the city.

"In the meantime, we will provide the security, but I will not stop fighting until we get the reimbursement that we deserve and I remain optimistic that we will get it ultimately," said de Blasio.

►READ MORE: Trump Security Costs Are 'Unsustainable,' Mark-Viverito Says

The mayor has been an outspoken critic of Trump and his policy proposals but he believes that the President-elect will ultimately agree with him that the city deserves reimbursement because he does not want to "burden" the NYPD.

"I think I have established that I have many, many differences with Donald Trump," de Blasio said.

"But on this matter I believe he does love New York City. I believe he has tremendous respect for the NYPD. He sees every day, as does his team, the extraordinary extent we are going to to protect him, his family, his team and the building."