In a White House meeting with state, city and federal government officials from New York Thursday, President Bush said that the federal government was working toward providing New York City with more than $20 billion in federal funds to help the city rebound from the devastating Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The aid package would help the President keep a very public pledge that he made soon after 9/11, when he visited Ground Zero and pledged $20 billion in relief aid to the city.
Since then, New York officials such as Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) have criticized Bush and others in his Administration for appearing to distance themselves from the ambitious promise. Indeed, the White House drew flak just recently for suggesting that monies already set aside for victims' families should be counted as part of the $20 billion package.
This month, however, Bush addressed those concerns. Now, the specifics of his detailed plan add up to a total of $21.5 billion, including: $2.7 billion in disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for cleanup at the former site of the World Trade Center towers; $1.8 billion to rebuild the Lower Manhattan subway and commuter rail lines and stations destroyed below ground; $750 million to reconstruct electric and telephone facilities; and $167 million to repair roads and viaducts.