Bush declares emergency for inauguration
Move allows D.C. to claim more federal funding amid fears over crowd size
Wed., Jan. 14, 2009
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush on Tuesday declared an emergency in the District of Columbia that will let the nation's capital tap deeper into federal coffers for Barack Obama's inauguration.
Bush said that an emergency exists and ordered federal aid to supplement the $15 million in federal funds already appropriated for the event.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty requested the emergency declaration on Jan. 7 because he decided that the crowds expected for the nation's 56th presidential inauguration would exceed the city's ability to protect the public.
If the extra money is needed, it will come from the Federal Emergency and Management Agency budget, Stanzel said.
In a statement, the White House said the assistance is available to the district for emergency measures to protect public health and safety.
Fenty and others have said millions could descend on Washington for the inauguration.