What to do in an emergency

News AASHTO Journal September 05, 2002
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Among the "contingent emergency" spending canceled by President George Bush on Aug


Among the "contingent emergency" spending canceled by President George Bush on Aug. 14 was $98 million in additional highway emergency relief funding that Congress had included in the FY 2002 supplemental spending bill. The move was to address a backlog of about $150 million in state requests.


Normally, the president does not wield the "line-item veto" common in many states. However, in developing the supplemental appropriations bill, Congress included provisions that $5.1 billion of the $30 billion in spending could be used if President Bush designated the entire amount as emergency spending. Although Bush signed the bill into law, he declined to designate the $5.1 billion as emergency spending.


According to FHWA officials, $255 million in emergency relief funding has been requested this year by states as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks, flooding, the Oklahoma I-40 bridge collapse and other emergencies. The annual $100 million allocation for FY 2002 had been exhausted by June, and the administration requested additional funding.


Bush said it was necessary to show fiscal restraint in the face of escalating costs for homeland defense, the war on terrorism and the economic recession.


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