Claim: President Obama has canceled July 4 celebrations at U.S. military bases to save money.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, July 2013]
Origins: This item about President Obama's having cancelled Independence Day celebrations at U.S. military bases scheduled for
The mandatory $85 billion budget cut imposed by sequestration as of March 2013 — an outcome for which Congress and the President shared some measure of blame due to their inability to resolve deficit reduction issues — affected many federal departments, including the military. Therefore, some U.S. military bases had to make the choice of scrapping annual fireworks shows (which can cost upwards of $100,000) or other Independence Day events in order to allocate funds to more vital areas:
Independence Day celebrations have been canceled at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base and at the Army's Fort Bragg, both in North Carolina. The annual July Fourth celebration also has been scrapped at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Ga.
The reason is money — namely the lack of it.
The failure in Washington to follow up a 2011 budget pact with additional spending cuts meant
When the decision was made to forgo fireworks at Camp Lejeune, the commanding general, Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry, said the cancellation would "ensure that we can mitigate the fiscal challenges we are currently facing."
Last year's Independence Day at the base cost about $100,000, including $25,000 for the fireworks. The big issue is paying the overtime to personnel for security, transportation, logistics and safety. Base officials said they couldn't justify paying overtime when federal workers are losing pay while furloughed.
Marines and their families at Lejeune will instead be able to participate in some free activities — golf, bowling, skeet shooting, archery and movies.
Other bases that are canceling ceremonies to mark the nation's birthday:
Chumley, Cheryl K. "Fourth of July Fireworks Shuttered at Key Military Bases." The Washington Times. 1 July 2013. Kerr, Jennifer C. "A Fourth of July with No Fireworks for Some Military Bases." The Washington Post. 1 July 2013.