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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 15, 2006
Fact Sheet: President Signs Emergency Funding Bill
Fiscally Responsible Bill Funds War on Terror, Hurricane Relief, Border Security, and Avian Flu Preparations
Today, President Bush signed legislation to provide emergency funding for the War on Terror, hurricane relief, border security, and pandemic influenza preparations. The President is committed to giving our commanders and troops in the field the resources they need to fight the War on Terror, and this bill continues that commitment. It also follows through on the President’s commitment to help Gulf Coast families rebuild, funds the President’s border security initiatives as part of his efforts to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and provides necessary funding to prepare for a possible flu pandemic.
A Fiscally Responsible Bill. The President promised to veto a bill that exceeded his funding request. The Administration worked closely with Congress to ensure that the bill holds the line on spending while providing for emergency needs. Highlights of the $94.5 billion in emergency funding include:
Fighting the War on Terror: $70.4 billion
Ongoing Military Operations. The President is committed to providing our troops with the resources and equipment they need. The bill provides more than $43.5 billion for ongoing military activities in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Ensuring Our Armed Forces Remain Well-Equipped and Organized. Replacing equipment: $15.6 billion to replace equipment worn-out or lost in battle, reorganize Army units for maximum effectiveness, and obtain new combat capabilities such as advanced night-vision equipment, counter-mortar and rocket systems, and new vehicle armor. Protecting our Troops: $2 billion for more effective countermeasures against road-side bombs and other Improvised Explosive Devices.
Supporting an Effective Diplomatic Presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. $1.5 billion for the extraordinary security and operating costs in support of U.S. diplomatic activity in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Promoting Democracy, Peace, and Stability. Stability in Afghanistan and Iraq: $4.9 billion to train and equip Afghan and Iraqi security forces to assume the lead in the counterinsurgency, and $1.6 billion to help Iraq and Afghanistan strengthen their economies, weaken the insurgency, and build the civilian capabilities required to transition to self-reliance. Humanitarian relief: $393 million for humanitarian and peacekeeping needs in Darfur and South Sudan; and Promoting Democracy: $66 million for assistance programs and public diplomacy activities that promote democracy and human rights in Iran.
Helping Families and Communities Rebuild from Last Year’s Hurricanes: $19.8 billion
Rebuilding Lives and Communities. FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund: nearly $6 billion for direct assistance to families for shelter and medical care, local rebuilding, debris removal, and other recovery activities; Community Development Block Grants: $5.2 billion to rebuild housing and community infrastructure; Federal facilities: $3.3 billion to rebuild facilities of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, the Coast Guard, and NOAA, and to make repairs at Gulf Coast shipyards—all of which are major local employers; Additional Federal relief: $500 million in emergency agriculture assistance, $280 million for low-interest loans to distressed communities, and $235 million to assist local schools with the additional costs of educating K-12 evacuees.
Strengthening the Region’s Hurricane Defenses and Restoring the Environment. Levee and flood control improvements: $3.6 billion for the Gulf region; Restoration of wetlands and watersheds: $71 million; Environmental remediation and restoration: $263 million; and Improved early storm warnings: $72 million.
Securing America’s Borders: $1.9 billion
New Resources to Protect the Border. More agents: $305 million for the first 1,000 of 6,000 new Border Patrol agents to be fielded by 2008; Tactical infrastructure: $250 million for enhanced security infrastructure including vehicle barriers, lighting, all-weather roads, and fencing; New facilities: $50 million for new and expanded Border Patrol stations, checkpoints, and forward operating bases to accommodate new agents; Detention and removal: $277 million for 4,000 new beds, additional staff and transportation, to end catch-and-release on the southern border.
Assisting State and Local Efforts. Better coordination: $50 million to train state and local law enforcement authorities to assist with enforcement missions as well as $15 million for state, local, and tribal law enforcement personnel to coordinate directly with Federal personnel on joint enforcement activities.
More Legal Resources. $20 million for additional administrative law judges, immigration attorneys, and technical and clerical staff to support the timely disposition of an expected increase in immigration hearings, and new funding for enhanced law enforcement efforts by United States Attorneys along the southern border.
Assistance from the National Guard. To help during this period of transition and in coordination with Governors, up to 6,000 National Guard members will be sent to our southern border. The Department of Homeland Security, and specifically the Border Patrol, will remain in the lead. National Guard units will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems, analyzing intelligence, installing fences and vehicle barriers, building patrol roads, and providing training. National Guard units deployed to our border will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities – that duty will continue to be carried out by the Border Patrol.
Preparing for a Possible Influenza Pandemic: $2.3 billion
Vaccine Development and Anti-viral Stockpiling. Supports the President’s National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza by funding pandemic influenza vaccine development and the stockpiling of antiviral medications and medical equipment. Vaccines and anti-virals are both important components of our preparedness strategy and greatly facilitate efforts to limit the spread of infection.
Strengthening our Public Health Monitoring and Diagnostic Capabilities. Funds improved monitoring efforts both domestically and internationally to allow for early warning of a pandemic, and strengthens Federal and local response to a pandemic. Effective surveillance saves lives by allowing the activation of response plans prior to the arrival of a pandemic virus to the United States, and enhanced laboratory and diagnostic capabilities will improve our public health response should a pandemic occur.
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