Inauguration Day: An overview of potential costs

Inauguration will be ‘safe,’ ‘smooth’: Ken Cuccinelli

Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli argues that the inauguration will be a safe transition of power.

President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ “America United”-themed inauguration will be different from years prior, involving heavy safety protocols amid a roaring national pandemic, but will still likely carry a substantial price tag.

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The swearing-in process alone was allotted a budget of $1.5 million, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

But the Presidential Inaugural Committee also chips in, which will help fund events and other costs.

This year, Biden’s inaugural committee vowed not to accept donations from lobbyists or the fossil fuel industry.

The Washington Post reported last month that the District of Columbia's Washington city government were never reimbursed for some $7 million spent on President Trump’s inauguration. Other costs – like those attributed to the pandemic and safety resources for protests – have left D.C. in a lurch.

Local officials asked for $45 million to cover the costs of Biden’s inauguration, the publication said.

Overall, The New York Times has estimated the cost of President Trump’s 2016 event was somewhere around $200 million, some of which was footed by taxpayers. That included parties, dinners, the parade and other events, in addition to security.

Those costs could increase over the coming days after insurrectionists laid siege on Capitol Hill, necessitating additional security personnel and protocols to ensure the safety of the incoming president and vice president, as well as their families.

This year’s security presence could be the largest in history, with as many as 25,000 National Guard service members supporting the event.

The Washington Post has reported in the past that security is one of the biggest costs each year, costing $115 million in 2005 and $124 million in 2009.

Additionally, surrounding retailers and businesses will also be closed for security purposes.

On the other hand, since more events are to be held virtually, some of the costs spent on dinners and galas could be saved.

A spokesperson for Biden’s inaugural press team did not return FOX Business’ request for comment about Inauguration Day costs.


The inaugural committee is “strongly encouraging” people not to attend the event in person – and to instead tune in to the virtual livestream amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

President Trump has said he will not be attending.

Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to preside over the inauguration, marking his fourth swearing-in of a new president.

The event will also include celebratory activities, like performances by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

A primetime television special will feature Justin Timberlake, Tom Hanks and Bon Jovi.


Since fewer people will be able to attend the event in person this year, the inaugural committee has come up with other means to raise cash.

As previously reported by Fox News, despite the fact that the inauguration will largely be a virtual event, some large donors will be granted extra perks and opportunities.

For example, people and groups who give more than $500,000 or $1 million, respectively, get a package that includes attendance at virtual events with Biden, “preferred viewing” of the inauguration and VIP tickets to an undisclosed future virtual event.

Individuals that give $250,000 and groups that give $500,000 will be able to attend a virtual event with Harris, a virtual concert and a future virtual event.

A number of companies have already pledged to donate to the campaign, including Boeing, which said it will donate $1 million.


Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.

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