- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 13, 2009

President Bush on Tuesday declared the District of Columbia to be a federal emergency area so the city can access federal funds to help pay for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

“An emergency exists in the District of Columbia,” said the statement from White House press secretary Dana Perino.

City planners have said they expect a few million people to come from all over the country and even the world to see Mr. Obama’s swearing in one week from today.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has said previously he needs $75 million, which is significantly more than the $15 million appropriated by Congress to pay for security and other logistical preparations.

The presidential declaration will give the city access, from Jan. 17-21, to federal coffers for “emergency protective measures that are undertaken to save lives and protect public health and safety,” the White House order said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency named Donald L. Keldsen as “federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations” in the city.

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