New York City Asks for $35 Million Reimbursement for Trump Security

Editors' pick: Originally published Dec. 5.

Protecting President-Elect Donald Trump is costing New York a pretty penny, and the city is asking for its money back.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on Monday that he is seeking up to $35 million in federal reimbursement for providing security to the president-elect from November 8 through his inauguration on January 20. He sent a written formal letter to President Barack Obama on Monday to initiate the process of repayment.

"Protecting the President-elect and his family through the inauguration and beyond is a responsibility that New York City takes seriously," he wrote. "However, the expense associated with protecting him in the midst of a dense city that is home to 8.55 million residents is logistically complex and requires a significant commitment of resource."

The $35 million request comes out to an average of about $466,667 per day across 75 days. CNN reported last month that the protecting the president-elect and his family was costing New York City more than $1 million a day.

De Blasio said at the press conference that he will be "continuing very aggressively" in the next few days with calls and meetings with the Obama administration and members of Congress to confirm reimbursements.

"This is the time now to really lean into nailing down the reimbursement," he said.

De Blasio also said he had spoken with Steve Mnuchin, Trump's nominee for Treasury Secretary, who he said "fully understood that there is a real important discussion to be had on how we deal with reimbursement issues going forward."

The security measures, protests and press swarming around Trump Tower have become a major issue for New York City and the NYPD since the real estate magnate's election. At a November press conference, de Blasio called it an "unprecedented challenge."

Businesses surrounding the building are concerned as well, especially with the holiday season is in full swing.

Tiffany & Co. (TIF) , whose flagship store sits on the same block as Trump Tower, has acknowledged increased security around the building has hurt business. Other business owners and workers in the area have noted a slowdown as well.

"It's like having the White House at the end of your street now," said restaurateur Willie Degel, who owns Uncle Jack's Steakhouse just a half a block away from Trump Tower on 56th Street.

While he supports Trump and believes his election will benefit the city, Degel conceded that security measures and resulting traffic impediments have been tough. "It's causing a lot of problems for deliveries and traffic and customers," he said.

As the de Blasio letter points out, New York City requesting reimbursement for the NYPD's expenses is not a new occurrence. For example, the city received repayment for hosting the 2004 Republican National Convention. Moreover, in 2009, a grant was established to reimburse state and local agencies for securing the president-elect during the presidential transition period.

Trump's wife, Melania, and son, Barron, plan to remain in New York City until the conclusion of the school year, and Trump has indicated that he may return on weekends throughout the course of his term. In other words, the NYPD's security bill won't disappear after Trump's inauguration.

"I'm just wondering what they're going to do over the next four years," said Degel.

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