One of President Donald Trump’s executive orders may have an effect on his hotel in Washington, D.C. The president’s threat to cut funding to sanctuary cities may defund inspectors who would oversee the installation of a new generator system at the new Trump Hotel.
Like many hotels and large buildings, the hotel is installing a new power system and backup generators. The hotel has been granted permits for the power plants by D.C.’s Department of Energy and Environment.
The director of the agency said it’s the first time a president of the United States has applied for a permit of this type, so he knows there will be added scrutiny
“It’s not business as usual,” said Tommy Wells, director of the Department of Energy and Environment. “But at the same time, it needs to be business as usual, so they’re held to the same standards as everyone else.”
Wells said the Trump Hotel has gone above and beyond some other D.C. businesses by applying for the permits. However, the recent actions of Trump illustrated how his business dealings could conflict with his responsibilities as president.
By signing an executive order threatening to withhold federal funding from governments that are considered sanctuary cities for illegal residents, Trump could defund the D.C. employees who would be responsible for inspecting the Trump Hotel’s new generators.
“Air quality is a shared responsibility with the federal government and the federal government helps pay for air quality inspections,” Wells said.
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While the executive order does not threaten the hotel’s ability to install the generators, if the funding is pulled from the D.C. air quality agency, inspectors would either have to forego the inspections or pay for them from other funds.
“The mayor is being as thoughtful about that and would never put people at risk,” Wells said. “We’ll just have to cross that bridge if that bridge ever comes.”
While this is the first time a sitting president has requested a permit of this type from the D.C. government, it’s not the first permit application from the White House. Wells said the Obama White House requested a permit for the first lady’s beehives.