White House declares inauguration a D.C. emergency
WASHINGTON – It’s official. The inauguration is an emergency for the District of Columbia.
President George W. Bush declared the emergency Tuesday, a week before the Jan. 20 swearing-in of the 44th president, Barack Obama.
Millions of people are expected to swarm the streets of Washington on inauguration day. Streets will be closed, bridges open only to taxis and the like, and security will be tight.
“The president’s action makes federal funding available to the District of Colombia,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
The District will be eligible for federal funds for “emergency protective measures that are undertaken to save lives and protect public health and safety” during Jan. 17-21, she said.
It was a sign that inauguration-related costs for the district could be higher than the $15 million already appropriated by the federal government for emergency planning and security.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Inaugural parade rehearsals Sunday in front of the White House. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Derrick Brooks and U.S. Navy Yeoman First Class LaSean McCray stand in for Obama and his wife, Michelle)