2013 Inauguration tab at $3 million--and climbing

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets


The Republicans haven’t even picked their presidential nominee yet, but Congress is prepping the Capitol and creating a bank account for next January’s Inauguration.

Officials tell Secrets that the early tab just for federal security, U.S. Capitol Police overtime and equipment will be $3 million. Money will also be needed to print invitations, programs and cover the costs of stagecraft and the traditional lunch for the new president. District police and city officials will likely seek an additional $15 million or more for police overtime, similar to what they sought to cover President Obama’s first Inauguration. Obama's fiscal 2013 budget, however, only provides $10 million.

The Architect of the Capitol also announced plans to buff up the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol Dome, which is also being renovated. The office said the scaffolding will be removed in time for the swearing in ceremony.

The growing expenses come as Congress is just starting to get ready for the January 21, 2013 Inauguration. Just this week, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was selected as chairman of the 2013 Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Legislation moved Inauguration Day from the traditional January 20 because it falls on a Sunday. The 21st is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The date change might be good luck for President Obama since of the five past presidents Inaugurated on a Sunday, only one was a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson.