Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bush Declares State of Emergency

Using powers created after he failed to do anything before or after Hurricane Katrina slowly barreled into New Orleans, lame duck President George W Bush declared a state of emergency in advance of next Tuesday’s inauguration. It is the first time the federal government has declared that an emergency exists in advance of a political event.

(Bush visited storm-ravaged New Orleans four days after the hurricane hit.)

The move is little more than a bureaucratic step to free up federal money to reimburse the District of Columbia for inauguration expenditures. DC expects its final inauguration tab to run to $47 million, more than triple the 15$ million allocated by Congress. Bush’s emergency declaration is essentially an end run around the Legislative Branch, as getting additional funds from the nation’s lawmakers could take months.

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