- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2001


President Bush signed into law yesterday a $40 billion package to rebuild after last week's terrorist attacks. He also put his signature to the congressional resolution authorizing him to use military force against those responsible.

"Our whole nation is unalterably committed to a direct, forceful and comprehensive response to these terrorist attacks and the scourge of terrorism directed against the United States," Mr. Bush said in a statement.

Congress passed the legislation last week with unprecedented speed and near unanimity.

Mr. Bush also signed legislation expediting benefit payments to injured firefighters and police, and to the survivors of public safety officers killed when hijackers slammed jets into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon one week ago yesterday.

Hundreds of firefighters and scores of police officers were killed trying to rescue workers inside the Trade Center towers before they collapsed.

Most of the $40 billion will go to recovery and other efforts in New York; Virginia, where the Pentagon is located; and Pennsylvania, where a fourth hijacked plane crashed, reportedly en route to Washington. Mr. Bush will be able to spend about half the package with virtually no congressional restriction.

New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani praised Mr. Bush's support for the city.

"We will get everything we need to rebuild to fight back," Mr. Giuliani said on CNN's "Larry King Live." "When he came to New York the other day, he could see that New Yorkers are united behind him."

Congress and the White House are also considering legislation that would help bail out the financially strapped airline industry.

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