Obama Inauguration Declared ‘Emergency’
Next Tuesday’s inauguration, scheduled in 1789, has been declared a federal emergency.
President Bush on Tuesday declared the District a federal emergency area, clearing the way for the city to receive federal money to help cover the overwhelming cost of providing security for official inauguration events. Officials said it was the first time the designation had ever been used for anything other than a national disaster, such as a hurricane or widespread flooding.
Because the law never intended it to be used otherwise, perhaps?
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Tuesday night that D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty had requested the declaration of the city as an emergency zone last week. Preliminary planning for the inauguration had not taken into account the likelihood of unprecedented crowds, now expected to run as high as 1.5 million to 2 million people, Mr. Stanzel said. “Because of this anticipated influx of people, declaring an emergency permits the federal government to provide additional requested support … to ensure that the inauguration is not only safe and secure, but that the health and well-being of visitors is preserved,” he said.
But, um, they originally expected upwards of 4 million people, according to a front page story in the Washington Post two months ago. People were hoping to get rich by renting out their homes and apartments to suckers coming in for the inauguration, only to see that plan collapse.
Of course, this is the same administration who has, for seven years running, failed to foresee that two ongoing wars would cause an additional strain on the budget and therefore had to rely on emergency appropriations to fund them.