The selection places the pontiff's visit among major national functions, like the presidential inauguration and the Super Bowl, that could become targets for attack, and streamlines any potential federal response. It also allows some budgeting for the event to come from the federal government, sharing the burden with the pope's destination cities.
But the tab to taxpayers remains unclear.
Some predict the total cost for the pope's Philadelphia visit will exceed $48 million. The World Meeting of Families, a major Catholic event drawing Pope Francis to the City of Brothery Love, has announced a $45 million comprehensive fundraising budget, according to Ken Gavin, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The federal government only allocates about $4.5 million annually for national special security events.
HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani raised the question in a conversation Monday with Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent; Nicholas Casale, a former New York Police Department detective; and Victor Matheson, an economics professor at College of the Holy Cross.
Matheson noted that other examples of national special security events include political party conventions and the Olympics. If the U.S. wins its bid for the 2024 games, he said, security costs would likely top $1 billion.
"That's something that would be borne by the United States as a whole, saying, 'Look, there is a certain privilege and honor in having events like these. And this is something that maybe all Americans should step up to -- not just the handful of cities that are actually hosting the pontiff.'"
Watch the HuffPost Live segment above.
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