Agencies may get more money for attack recovery efforts

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young, R-Fla., Tuesday signaled his willingness to exceed $20 billion in emergency spending planned for the fiscal 2002 Defense appropriations bill, saying the FBI, U.S. Customs Service and recovery efforts in New York and Virginia might require more.

Young said he has a list of supplemental funding needs for "considerably more than $20 billion."

But GOP leaders contend the emergency spending should be increased only if the White House asks for more money. With the administration declining to make such a request, Young said he hopes to keep the supplemental to $20 billion.

"Congress and the President would like to stay at the $20 billion, but with the realization that there are likely to be more requirements," Young said.

However, he also must consider the billions of dollars more in homeland security spending that Appropriations ranking member David Obey, D-Wis., is pushing to add to the supplemental.

Following the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress and President Bush settled on $40 billion in emergency supplemental spending to deal with the aftermath. The White House would control the first $20 billion, and the second $20 billion was to be included as a separate title of the FY02 Defense bill.

Young said that when Bush and congressional leaders negotiated the $40 billion supplemental last month, the amount was considered a "down payment" on the nation's recovery and anti- terrorism needs that would be increased "sooner or later."

"Later may have to be sooner," Young said Tuesday, referring to a spate of national needs.

Meanwhile, members of the New York delegation put together a detailed list of projects for the $20 billion in supplemental funding that President Bush promised would go to their state's recovery needs.

The New Yorkers' request includes $2.2 billion for Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel services, $6 billion for other FEMA expenses, $2.9 billion for economic stabilization, $2.3 billion for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, $3.3 billion for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, $900 million for utility infrastructure and $2.1 billion--outside the appropriations process--for unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and extension of COBRA health insurance benefits.

The New Yorkers also would like to obtain $5 billion in tax breaks and incentives for the city.

But whether the New Yorkers will insist that their state receive all $20 billion this year remains an open question. Some New York appropriators, such as GOP Rep. James Walsh, have said all of it does not have to be provided now, while others, including Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, said they are working to get it all this year.

The New York delegation is scheduled to meet Thursday with Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels, according to Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y.

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