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FEMA aid available for inauguration

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- President George Bush has made federal emergency aid available to the District of Columbia to help defray costs of next week's U.S. presidential inauguration.

The funding was made available by Bush declaring an emergency existed in the District, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

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"Under the law, the city or state or the District of Columbia can ask the administration ... for more funds or access to more funds in case they need it in order to protect people for some major event, whether it be a natural disaster, or something like the Super Bowl," Perino said Wednesday during a news conference. "I don't know if anybody's ever done that."

Under the emergency declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse District officials for eligible emergency protective measures during Tuesday's inauguration after they have spent the $15 million already appropriated for events Saturday through Wednesday, a White House statement said.

"(Obviously) this inauguration is going to bring a huge number of crowds, and there's going to be a large amount of security," Perino said. "And therefore, we thought it was appropriate that when Washington Mayor (Adrian) Fenty asked President Bush for access to additional funds, that we provide it."

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