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A Bradley Fighting Vehicle, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

For the first time since the U.S. defeated Iraq in the original Iraq War of 1991, two M1 Abrams tanks will roll through D.C. on Thursday as part of a military parade requested by President Trump.

Why it matters: "Pentagon officials have long been reluctant to parade tanks, missiles and other weapons through the nation’s capital like the authoritarian leaders of North Korea and China," NYT notes.

  • "But Mr. Trump believes that the inclusion of tanks and other weapons ... would help to transform the capital city’s annual event into the kind of military celebration he has long wanted."
People pose in front of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Lincoln Memorial. Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images

Driving the news: Local officials are concerned that the heavy vehicles (Abrams tanks can reach 70 tons) could damage local roads — especially around the National Mall.

  • D.C.'s City Council to Trump, via tweet: "We have said it before, and we’ll say it again: Tanks, but no tanks.”
  • Trump on Monday: "You've got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks, so we have to put them in certain areas."
Two M1A2 Abrams tanks (the closest ones) and other military vehicles sit on guarded rail cars in D.C. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Another point of concern: "The National Park Service is diverting nearly $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees primarily intended to improve parks across the country to cover costs" of the parade, the Washington Post reports.

  • "By comparison, according to former Park Service deputy director Denis P. Galvin, the entire Fourth of July celebration on the Mall typically costs the agency about $2 million."
  • WashPost: "The cost of a military parade Trump wanted to stage last year was about $92 million, including $50 million in Defense Department expenses, defense officials said at the time."
One of two Bradley Fighting Vehicles is parked next to the Lincoln Memorial. Photo: Andrew Harnik

Go deeper

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.