- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
Inauguration declared ‘emergency’
Question of the Day
President Bush on Tuesday declared the District a federal emergency area, clearing the way for the city to receive federal money to help cover the overwhelming cost of providing security for official inauguration events.
Officials said it was the first time the designation had ever been used for anything other than a national disaster, such as a hurricane or widespread flooding.
More than 100 police agencies from across the country already have been mobilized to help provide security for the Jan. 20 presidential swearing-in of Barack Obama, which is expected to attract 1 million to 2 million people to the District. Authorities will essentially seal off the downtown and prevent motorists from entering the city from Virginia.
“An emergency exists in the District,” White House press secretary Dana Perino announced.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Tuesday night that D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty had requested the declaration of the city as an emergency zone last week.
Preliminary planning for the inauguration had not taken into account the likelihood of unprecedented crowds, now expected to run as high as 1.5 million to 2 million people, Mr. Stanzel said.
“Because of this anticipated influx of people, declaring an emergency permits the federal government to provide additional requested support … to ensure that the inauguration is not only safe and secure, but that the health and well-being of visitors is preserved,” he said.
D.C. officials have said since November that their only guaranteed money is the annual federal appropriation of $15 million - about $2.3 million less than they spent on security for President Bush’s relatively small second inauguration in 2005.
“We really just don’t know how much we’re going to have to spend,” Mafara Hobson, spokeswoman for Mr. Fenty, said at the time. “All we have right now is the $15 million the federal government allows us.”
Mr. Fenty has said the event will cost the city as much as $75 million. Maryland officials expect state costs to be more than $12 million.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, asked Congress last week for about $12 million to help with the costs.
The estimates include costs for emergency services and Maryland State Police personnel. Hundreds of Maryland state workers will be assisting with work related to the inauguration.
Miss Hobson said the city made its request under the Stafford Act and that the Fenty administration was “pleased the White House has supported our request … for federal support and reimbursement if needed.”
The act, an amended version of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, allows a president to declare a disaster, which triggers financial and physical assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In addition to making available additional money, Mr. Bush’s declaration authorizes FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to provide emergency assistance from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21.
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- ISIL captured 52 U.S.-made howitzers; artillery weapons cost 500K each
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq