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Bush Declares State of Emergency for Inauguration

President Bush has declared a state of emergency for the District during the Inauguration Jan. 17-21, Press Secretary Dana Perino said. The move will allow the federal government to provide funding to District government agencies, which have been swamped with planning and paying for security and transportation needs.

The federal government had given the District $15 million to help with the inauguration costs, but D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) had lobbied for more money. Fenty, along with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D), recently asked the federal government for $75 million to cover the costs. No word on whether Virginia or Maryland will get extra federal money.

Up to 2 million people are expected to come to Washington, a city of about 580,000 people, to watch Barack Obama's inauguration Jan. 20. The all-time inauguration record is 1.2 million who watched Lyndon B. Johnson get sworn in in 1965.

Update 4:29 p.m: Post homeland security reporter Mary Beth Sheridan reports that Fenty wrote a letter to Bush last week requesting the declaration and the funds. The state of emergency declaration does not mean the city is overwhelmed, Sheridan's sources said. The move is part of a reform effort enacted after Hurricane Katrina that allows the president to declare an emergency ahead of time in order to provide extra funding for security and other planning needs.

By David A Nakamura  |  January 13, 2009; 4:06 PM ET  | Category:  Crowds , Security , Swearing-in Ceremony
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The last I heard, up to 4 million people and not 2 million may converge on Washington, D.C.

What Dubya and the law enforcement agencies are forgetting, once again, is the Constitutional rights of WE THE PEOPLE to see the inauguration trumps their bogus "We will limit the size of the crowd for safety concerns."

The Constitution may not be usurped by legislative fiat.

WE THE PEOPLE have the right to peaceable assembly. Size limits and safety issues have not been written into the Constitution. No permits or prior permission from law enforcement agencies is required for peaceable assembly.

They may not artificially limit the number of people who have access to the parade route. If there is room for more people on the parade route and Mall, then law enforcement officers MUST allow the people to pass and become a part of the inaugural assembly.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | January 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I am always surprised at the amount of money that is given to any state, city, business, etc. from the federal government. I cannot imagine that there is actual money in hand that can be spent as it is stated. I was surprised, once again, that the failing banks, ie; Bank of America, were getting more money to prevent collapse. How about a different approach?
Lets have the government spend the money a different way, as long as they are handing it out.
Give each "American" citizen 18 and older 1 million dollars with one stipulation. Each person must pay all their debt in full before spending one cent on anything else. If that is not done, then the money is taken back.
That way, all the businesses going under will be getting all their money back from the citizens, allowing them to get back on their feet again. If the business, at that point, continue to make bad decisions on lending, then they deserve to go down.
Lets let the citizens repay their loans from the never-ending money supply given to them from the government. How much would the government need to hand out? 300 million? or so? cheaper than what they have been doing.

Posted by: sueberti | January 17, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

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