The Federal Government's Role

The federal government holds the purse strings for billions of dollars in aid to the city. Find out more about the efforts on the federal level.


Chasing Aid: $20 Billion Is Just A Start
New York Times - November 26, 2001
By Joyce Purnick
Purnick explains the conflict between the Washington and the New York delegation over the $20 billion in promised aid. The truth is the city needs much more than the $20 billion in emergency aid that President Bush promised; the city needs "grants to businesses to stay downtown; a 26-week extension of unemployment benefits (13 weeks more than for other states); an expansion of health benefits for the unemployed, and special items in the national stimulus package.including tax cuts and other incentives for Lower Manhattan."

More Resources

Federal Emergency Management Agency
The federal agency devoted to emergency relief

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey--World Trade Center Info
Relief information put together on Representative Nita Lowey's website

World Trade Center Official Documents
A selective guide to the official government documents related to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center

News Stories

Federal Government Allots $90 Million for Ground Zero Health Study - Feb 12, 2003
The feds will set aside $90 million to pay for health screening for hundreds of firefighters and other heroes who rushed to Ground Zero after 9/11, officials said yesterday. The funding should insure that Mount Sinai and other hospitals can study and track the long-term health of scores of first responders - some of whom are beginning to report lung and breathing woes they attribute to Ground Zero. (Select one or type in another)

Pataki Presents Washington With A $5 Billion Transit Plan - Feb 8, 2003
Gov. George E. Pataki outlined a long-awaited plan yesterday to spend up to $5 billion to restore and upgrade transportation in Lower Manhattan, including new above-ground hubs at the World Trade Center site and at the Fulton Street subway stations, as well as a rebuilt subway terminal at South Ferry. (New York Times)

7 Families Sue Administrator of 9/11 Fund - Jan 27, 2003
In the most sweeping challenge yet to the federal fund intended to compensate relatives of Sept. 11 victims, the families of seven victims who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald have filed a lawsuit accusing the fund's administrator of acting illegally and unfairly, thereby shortchanging the families of all New York victims. (New York Times)

Federal Officials Press Pataki For Details On Transportation Rebuilding - Jan 16, 2003
Federal officials have sent Gov. Pataki a letter pressing the state to explain in detail how it will spend the $4.55 billion set aside to remake lower Manhattan's transportation system. The letter was meant to jump-start a process that appears to have stalled as City Hall, Albany, the Port Authority and the MTA remain at odds over setting priorities for transportation projects, sources in Washington said. (New York Post)

Kissinger Pulls Out as Chief of Inquiry Into 9/11 Attacks - Dec 14, 2002
Henry A. Kissinger abruptly resigned today as chairman of the commission intended to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks, informing President Bush that he could not serve if it meant revealing the clients of his consulting firm. President Bush, who aides said was surprised by the decision, vowed to find a replacement quickly. (New York Times)

Congressional Committee Examining 9/11 Adopts Report - Dec 11, 2002
The joint Congressional committee investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks voted today to recommend the creation of a cabinet-level director of national intelligence, Congressional officials said. The recommendation was one of about 20 in the committee's final report, which one leader of the panel said was too forgiving of intelligence failures leading up to the attacks. (New York Times)

Henry Kissinger Appointed Head of Commission To Investigate 9/11 - Nov 28, 2002
President Bush today named Henry A. Kissinger, a Republican who has been one of the most respected but polarizing figures in foreign policy and Washington for more than three decades, to lead an independent investigation into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The 10 member-commission will conduct a wide-ranging inquiry into the causes of the attacks, whether they could have been averted and what changes are needed to prevent a similar occurrence. The commission is required to complete its work within 18 months. The leaders of the two parties in Congress must appoint the rest of the members by Dec. 15. (New York Times)

FEMA's Latest Bungle: P.O. Box for 9/11 Aid Shut for Nonpayment - Nov 27, 2002
For more than a year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has had no end of problems with its stewardship of the Sept. 11 aid programs. Now comes a bureaucratic bungle of a new magnitude. Last week, a FEMA post office box in Albany was closed after the agency failed to pay the rent for almost three months. The agency had set up the box to handle applications for a major reimbursement program. After the box was closed by the Albany post office, about 300 people who had mailed in applications potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars received their packets stamped "Return to Sender." (New York Times)

Federal Bill Secures LMDC's Role in Memorial Planning - Nov 26, 2002
The federal government would guarantee the future of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. under recent congressional legislation to create a World Trade Center National Memorial. Introduced earlier this month by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), whose district includes Ground Zero, the bill requires the development agency's public planning process to determine the memorial's design and location, with eventual administration by the National Park Service. (Newsday)

Schumer Urges Feds to Scrap Wall Street Disaster Plan - Nov 23, 2002
Calling a new Wall Street disaster plan a "dagger pointed at the heart of New York," Sen. Chuck Schumer urged federal regulators yesterday to scrap it and start from scratch. The plan recommends that financial firms build backup facilities as far as 300 miles out of town - and move thousands of jobs with them. (New York Daily News)

Congressman Nadler Slams Federal Cleanup Program For Downtown - Nov 21, 2002
tacking an apartment cleanup plan in lower Manhattan as a “charade”, Congressman Jerrold Nadler said Wednesday the federal government is avoiding stringent testing and cleanup measures and using inadequate methods to rid homes of World Trade Center dust. (Newsday)

Congressman Calls for Federal Role in 9/11 Memorial - Nov 11, 2002
The federal government would help pay for the Ground Zero memorial and the U.S. Park Service would run it under a bill proposed by Manhattan Congressman Jerry Nadler. The legislation answers at least some of the concerns of a group of relatives of trade center victims, who have been pushing for a federal role. (New York Post)

Lessons Drawn From Attack on Pentagon May Stay Secret - Nov 5, 2002
The World Trade Center report was completed and released last spring, but the Defense Department, fearing that the strengths and perhaps vulnerabilities of its headquarters were too clearly drawn, has held up the Pentagon study in a classification review and may never allow it to be publicly released. (New York Times)

Officials Accused of Distorting 9/11 Aid Statistics - Nov 1, 2002
New York's Congressional delegation and the leaders of several lower Manhattan organizations have accused federal and state officials of distorting the statistics of a major Sept. 11 aid program to make it appear that it had done a better job of distributing cash grants. The accusations involve the Individual and Family Grant program, which had been promoted by Gov. George Pataki as the ultimate safety net for people who had lost their jobs, had property damaged or needed to be reimbursed for air-quality equipment. (New York Times)

List of 9/11 Transit Projects Sent to Washington - Oct 29, 2002
The first batch of lower Manhattan transit projects to be paid for with post-9/11 federal aid has been quietly sent to Washington for approval, sources said yesterday. The transit wish list was compiled after months of sometimes contentious meetings among the Port Authority, Lower Manhattan Development Corp., state and city transportation officials and elected leaders, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). (New York Daily News)

Federal Government Giving $700 Million Less in 9/11 Aid - Oct 22, 2002
Remember that $21.4 billion in federal aid New York was promised after the Sept. 11 attacks? Well, subtract about $700 million. It was quietly taken off the books by the White House and Congress in recent months. (New York Daily News)

FEMA Gives Schools $80.5M Grant - Oct 23, 2002
Yesterday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave a grant of $80.5 million to city schools. FEMA responded to local elected officials who had appealed for the assistance. The money is to be used to add 15 hours of instruction for students throughout the city and 30 hours for students in lower Manhattan who remained out of school for several days after the terrorist attack, said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. (Newsday)

Federal Government Giving $700 Million Less in 9/11 Aid - Oct 22, 2002
Remember that $21.4 billion in federal aid New York was promised after the Sept. 11 attacks? Well, subtract about $700 million. It was quietly taken off the books by the White House and Congress in recent months. (New York Daily News)

Big Push on School 9/11 Aid - Oct 9, 2002
School officials are inching toward an agreement to win millions of dollars in post-Sept. 11 emergency funds - but congressional representatives aren't taking any chances that the cash won't come through. (New York Daily News)

Schumer Criticizes U.S. Customs on N.J. move - Oct 9, 2002
Sen. Chuck Schumer blasted the U.S. Customs Service yesterday for planning to move its operations out of lower Manhattan to create a new "international trade center" in Newark. (New York Daily News)

New York Congressional Delegation Proposes Direct Aid To New York - Oct 3, 2002
Some of the government's Sept. 11 aid to New York should go directly into city and state coffers, Democratic lawmakers said yesterday. Citing "gaping holes" in the city and state budgets, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for a law allocating some of the $21 billion to replace lost tax revenue. "Right now, even though the money is there, we can't use it," Schumer said in Washington, where he was joined by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan. "And so, what we're seeking to do here is untie the hands of the federal government." (New York Daily News)

Senator Schumers Backs Away From Criticism Of Use of Transit Funds - Oct 3, 2002
Sen. Charles Schumer is backing off his wish that a pot of federal money for lower Manhattan go only to a "Grand Central Station" downtown instead of a string of other pricey projects, officials said yesterdaySchumer's apparent change-of-heart came after he met with officials overseeing rebuilding downtown, aides said. "It seems there's enough money for both," Schumer spokesman Phil Singer said. (New York Post)

Senator Schumer Criticized For Remarks About Federal Funding For Transit - Oct 2, 2002
Senator Charles Schumer came under fire from other New York officials yesterday for his unexpected attempt to block federal disaster funding for several lower Manhattan transit projects. Public comments from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority hinted at behind-the-scenes wrangling among federal, state and city officials who are trying to divvy up the transit aid, sources said. (New York Daily News)

A Call for Release of Data on Collapse - Oct 1, 2002
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) demanded yesterday the release of court-sealed documents that could shed new light on the collapse of the World Trade Center. The documents include extensive studies done after the collapse by both sides in a suit brought by Larry Silverstein, the businessman who held the lease on the Trade Center, against insurance companies. (New York Daily News)

Schumer And Pataki Argue Over Using Rebuilding Funds - Sep 30, 2002
A battle is shaping up between Senator Charles Schumer and Gov. George Pataki over hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to rebuild Lower Manhattan in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center. Schumer is seeking to block nearly $700 million in transportation projects being considered by several agencies under the control of Pataki. Schumer said he was concerned that devoting $700 million of that aid to projects unrelated to 9/11 would shortchange the projects directly related to the attack, mainly the construction of a transit center linking the subway and PATH lines around the trade center site. (New York Times)

Fund for Terror Attack Victims Offers Awards in 14 Test Cases - Sep 30, 2002
Kenneth R. Feinberg, the special master in charge of the federal Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund, told 14 families last week that he had offered proposed awards ranging from $600,000 to $3.9 million after reviewing circumstances like extreme mental anguish and the intangible, hard-to-replace services provided by the family members who were killed. (New York Times)

White House, in Shift, Backs Inquiry on 9/11 - Sep 21, 2002
The White House gave in today to growing Congressional demands for an independent investigation of last year's terrorist attacks, setting the stage for a comprehensive inquiry into the failures and vulnerabilities that made the hijackings possible. (New York Times)

House Backs Federal Panel to Study Building Disasters - Sep 18, 2002
The House gave final Congressional approval to a bill that would create a federal panel to investigate building disasters. (New York Times)

Congress, Back in Its First City, Pays Tribute to 9/11 Victims and Heroes - Sep 7, 2002
Congress convened a special meeting in New York yesterday to pay tribute to the victims and the heroes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and, in the words of the speakers, to show the world that America had been made stronger by the assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (New York Times)

N.Y. Seeing Only Part of Promised Aid - Sep 5, 2002
Soon after Sept. 11, President Bush promised New York City more than $20 billion in federal aid. A year later, only a fraction of that money has been spent. Thousands of aid applications are sitting in government offices, while the cash flow has been slowed by red tape and a lack of consensus over how to rebuild the World Trade Center site. (Associated Press)

Judge Says Sept. 11 Families Can Change Minds on Suing - Sep 4, 2002
A federal judge in Manhattan said yesterday that he would allow families of Sept. 11 victims who decide to sue the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to change their minds if they later decide to seek an award from the Victim Compensation Fund. (New York Times)

Congress' visit a show of solidarity - Sep 2, 2002
It's been 212 years, but Congress is returning to New York. About 200 members are expected to convene in a joint session at Federal Hall on Friday to pass a resolution expressing unity with New York City and declaring the nation's resolve against terrorism. (New York Daily News)

9/11 Lawyer Blasts Feds - Aug 31, 2002
A lawyer representing over 2,000 Sept. 11 victims in a suit against Saudi Arabian royals and Osama bin Laden's family business criticized the federal government yesterday for not supporting their case. (New York Post)

Bonds for Downtown Favor Political Donors - Aug 28, 2002
Most of the $340 million in Liberty Bonds awarded for rebuilding lower Manhattan was given to major campaign contributors at the state and local levels, particularly to Republicans, Common Cause New York said yesterday. (New York Daily News)

More Get 9/11 Aid, but Distrust of U.S. Effort Lingers - Aug 27, 2002
Since overhauling its programs in late June to assist New Yorkers devastated by the Sept. 11 attack, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted more money to nearly as many people needing help with their mortgage or rent as it did in the previous nine months. But for all the changes, FEMA is still plagued by problems that many worry may ultimately leave thousands of needy New Yorkers in the lurch. (New York Times)

Delegation Urges More 9/11 Funds - Aug 23, 2002
The New York congressional delegation intends to send a letter to President Bush today imploring him to hand over $90 million in federal funds to track the health of former Ground Zero workers. The money was part of a $5.1 billion spending plan Bush rejected last week. The President had to accept or reject the plan entirely. (New York Daily News)

U.S. Announces New, Tougher Look Into Why the Towers Collapsed - Aug 22, 2002
Federal officials on Wednesday began a two-year, $23 million study of the 110-story twin towers at the World Trade Center to analyze how and why the twin towers and a third skyscraper collapsed in raging fires on Sept. 11. The investigation will recommend changes in how other high-rises are built to make them safer in a terrorist attack, an out-of-control fire or a natural disaster. (New York Times)

Money for Just Some of a Transit Wish List - Aug 13, 2002
Federal, state and city officials gathered at the rim of ground zero yesterday to celebrate their cooperation in securing $4.55 billion in federal money to overhaul and update the tangle of subway stations, commuter terminals and other transportation outlets in Lower Manhattan. But the money still falls short of the $7.5 billion that officials overseeing the rebuilding have long said would be needed to complete crucial transportation projects, leaving questions about which projects might be scrapped or scaled back as the rebuilding effort progresses. (New York Times)

$4.5B to Be Used for a Ground Zero Rail Hub - Aug 12, 2002
Billions of dollars in federal money will be used to build a new transit hub near Ground Zero, linking the PATH with subway lines in lower Manhattan, Mayor Bloomberg is set to announce today. The federal government has agreed to give the city $4.5 billion for the rail center. (New York Daily News)

Schumer Wants Part of 9/11 Aid for Police and Firefighter Raises - Aug 11, 2002
Senator Charles E. Schumer yesterday called on President Bush to allow New York to use about $500 million in federal disaster aid to give police officers and firefighters raises comparable to the 22 percent received by city teachers. The money would come from the $21.4 billion promised for recovery from the Sept. 11 attack. (New York Times)

Schumer Bill Would Allow 9/11 Victims' Fund Lawyers To Collect Fees Up To 12 - Aug 5, 2002
Senator Schumer is drafting legislation that would let attorneys collect between 8 and 12% of a familyís payout from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, a victimsí advocate said. The Schumer plan is a compromise between Senator Nickles, who did not want lawyers to take any money from the fund, and the trial lawyers themselves, who want no limit on their contingency fees. (New York Sun)

Bush to Mark Sept. 11 With Visits - Aug 3, 2002
President Bush will mark the Sept. 11 terror attacks anniversary by visiting New York, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 crashed. (Associated Press)

Bush May Refuse Health Funds for Ground Zero Workers - Aug 3, 2002
President Bush's refusal yesterday to quickly approve $90 million in funding for monitoring the health of Ground Zero workers could lead to another showdown with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. (New York Post)

Congress Approves More NY Aid - Jul 25, 2002
Congress has approved $5.5 billion in additional Sept. 11 aid for New York, surpassing the pledge of $20 billion President Bush made to the city in the days after the terrorist attacks. (Associated Press)

Congress OKs $5.5B For NYC - Jul 19, 2002
The last chunk of federal money promised to New York by President George W. Bush as the nation was still reeling from the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack fell into place yesterday when House and Senate negotiators agreed on the final $5.5-billion installment for the city.The deal brings to $21.3 billion the amount of federal money going to New York, topping the president's pledge of $20 billion made two days after terrorists crashed two airliners into the Twin Towers. (Newsday)

Senator Clinton: Extend 9/11 Benefit - Jul 9, 2002
Sen. Hillary Clinton announced yesterday she is pushing for a second 13-week extension of Sept. 11 unemployment benefits. Aides to Clinton said the new extension would cost about the same as the last one: about $8 billion. (New York Daily News)

WTC Aid Not Reaching Small Businesses, Others In Need - Jul 7, 2002
The twenty-one billion, four hundred million dollars in federal aid coming to New York City after Sept. 11 makes up nearly half the city's annual budget. But it's not enough to satisfy everyone č no matter how the pot of cash is divvied up. The clear winners, thus far, are corporate giants and real estate developers. They may be getting aid at the expense of thousands of small companies, mom-and-pop businesses, school kids and children traumatized by Sept. 11 and in need of mental health services. (New York Daily News)

FEMA Expands Aid - Jun 29, 2002
After months of criticism about its missteps and delays in distributing financial help to New Yorkers affected by the Sept. 11 terror attack, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced yesterday that it was formally changing its eligibility criteria to allow aid to thousands more people who suffered economic hardship as a result of the disaster.(New York Times)

Senate Committee Approves $5 Billion in Federal Funds, Bringing Pledged Total To $20 Billion - May 23, 2002
A Senate panel approved more than $5 billion in aid to New York yesterday -- the balance of $20 billion promised by President Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. The new spending okayed by the Senate Appropriations Committee includes $2.66 billion for transit infrastructure repair, $1.8 billion for transit upgrades, $750 million for utility repairs and $167 million for the state Highway Department. It also would provide $90 million to monitor the health of Ground Zero workers. (New York Daily News)

Congress To Hold Session in New York City On September 6 - May 22, 2002
Congress is planning to hold a special session in New York City on Sept. 6, just days before the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. But some Jews are objecting that the schedule will intrude on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown on Sept. 6. The visit to New York will likely be more symbolic than substantive, according to a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Instead of bringing all 100 Senators and 435 House members to the city, each state would send at least one member from each house. (Newsday)

Federal Emergency Management Agency Gives City $132 Million Grant For Long-Term Therapy - May 22, 2002
Crisis-counseling programs for New Yorkers affected by 9/11 received a huge dose of cash therapy yesterday after the feds approved a record-high $132 million grant. The grant is the largest for long-term counseling that FEMA has ever approved. Project Liberty, which was set up after the Twin Towers attack and run by the state's Office of Mental Health, will administer the grant in New York City and 10 nearby counties using local mental health programs to provide services. (New York Post)

Federal Emergency Management Agency Says Board of Ed Never Formally Requested Relief Funds - May 9, 2002
Joseph Allbaugh, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, called members of New York's congressional delegation this week to say the agency was not stonewalling city schools - but that school officials never officially asked for money to make up class time lost after Sept. 11. School officials counter that they made repeated pleas for aid — in a Sept. 21 document submitted to the city and forwarded to FEMA on behalf of all agencies seeking help, and in private meetings with FEMA staffers. (New York Daily News)

Environmental Protection Agency to Lead Cleanup Effort of Homes Close to Ground Zero - May 8, 2002
The federal Environmental Protection Agency will announce today an effort to clean up and test apartments south of Canal Street in Lower Manhattan that were fouled by the dust and ash from the destruction of the World Trade Center. This is a sharp reversal in policy from an agency which, to this point, had said that assessing air quality indoors was not under its responsibilities. (New York Times)

Senate Committee Seeks Inquiry Into Emergency Agency After September 11 - May 4, 2002
A Senate committee has asked the General Accounting Office to undertake a broad examination of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response to the Sept. 11 attacks, including a review of the way the agency has determined eligibility for its programs, the amount of money the government expects to spend on the recovery effort and the steps it is taking to safeguard public funds. (New York Times)

Federal Officials Propose More Comprehensive Investigation Of Collapse of Twin Towers - May 2, 2002
Federal officials proposed today an expansive new effort to determine exactly why the towers fell and how other buildings might be protected. The proposed investigation, which would begin with taking in more data from the scene of the collapse and use sophisticated computer analysis for a more detailed look at the collapse, would be led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland, a federal agency with long experience in studying building disasters. (New York Times)

Federal Government Will Reconsider Some Applicants Rejected For 9/11 Aid - May 2, 2002
The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency promised members of the New York Congressional delegation yesterday that the agency would immediately reopen more than 7,000 applications for housing assistance that the agency denied after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Those who were rejected included hundreds of Chinatown seamstresses and Manhattan hotel workers, many of them with claims to aid that seemed legitimate. (New York Times)

Federal Report on World Trade Center Collapse To Be Released Today - May 1, 2002
A federal study, to be released today during a congressional hearing, concludes that the towers of the World Trade Center behaved "remarkably," and states that no structural problems were found with the buildings. The study team recommends that funds should be used to improve aircraft security, rather than hardening buildings against airplane attack. "Buildings are not designed to withstand any event that could ever conceivably occur," the report states. The study concludes that the buildings could have remained standing following the plane impacts alone, if not for the enormous fires that ensued. (Newsday)

Relatives of Victims Criticize Government Investigation of September 11 - May 1, 2002
Victims' relatives and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) will be at a news conference today to criticize a report detailing the federal government's investigation of September 11. "Many families don't have confidence in the ... report because of how sloppy the investigation was at the outset," Weiner said. (New York Daily News)

Federal Agency Criticized For Not Reimbursing New York City Schools After 9/11 - Apr 28, 2002
City schools are being shortchanged $110 million by the federal agency charged with helping pay for recovery efforts after Sept. 11, two New York members of Congress charge. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has refused to pay for classroom time lost after the terrorist attacks, yet when a 1994 earthquake closed Los Angeles schools for a week, the U.S. Education Department offered $45 million in aid. (New York Daily News)

Federal Government To Reimburse NYC Schools For Post-September 11 Expenses - Apr 23, 2002
Brad Gair, federal recovery officer for the World Trade Center disaster, told the Daily News on Friday he expected the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse city schools for full damage -- including ongoing environmental testing at lower Manhattan schools. Until Gair's comments Friday, school officials said the feds balked at reimbursing millions in expenses — including a $3 million asbestos cleanup of the two high schools closest to the World Trade Center. (New York Daily News)

Less Than 10 Percent Of Victims' Relatives Applying For Federal Aid - Apr 18, 2002
Less than 10 percent of the relatives of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks have sought sought compensation through the federal government's victims fund. Only 265 applications from relatives of the 3,054 people killed have been received, according to Justice Department figures. The lag is due in part to confusion about the fund's rules, and awards from charities that have bought families time to weigh their options, victims groups say. (New York Post)

Leading Congressmember Sees Problems With Idea Of Joint Congress Session in New York City - Apr 17, 2002
A key House Republican yesterday poured cold water on the idea of bringing Congress to New York one day this year -- likely marking the end of a crusade that began after 9/11. Rep. Dick Armey told The New York Post that the obstacles to holding a one-day congressional session in the Big Apple on or around Sept. 6 are "insurmountable" and outweigh any symbolic benefits -- especially given the estimated $1 million price tag. Support for the idea is even weaker in the Senate, where the idea has languished since Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced a resolution last Nov. 15. Only nine senators have co-sponsored the measure. (New York Post)

Environmental Protection Agency Accused of Neglect in 9/11 Cleanup - Mar 29, 2002
A watchdog for the Environmental Protection Agency has accused the agency of neglecting its responsibility and urged a cleanup of buildings contaminated by World Trade Center debris. "EPA has abandoned its responsibility for cleaning up buildings [both inside and out] that are contaminated, or that are being recontaminated, as a result of the uncontrolled chemical releases from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks," Ombudsman Robert Martin wrote in a March 27 letter to Jane Kenny, head of the agency's New York region. (New York Daily News)

$1 Billion in Federal Aid to Help Cover City for Ground Zero Liability - Mar 24, 2002
The Bush administration wants to provide up to $1 billion to shield New York City and scores of contractors against lawsuits stemming from the World Trade Center cleanup. For months, insurers have refused to provide liability coverage to the city and contracting companies working there, arguing that the cleanup is far too big and the risk associated with it too hard to measure. New York officials contend that the infusion of cash would enable the city to pay the sort of sky-high premiums that could persuade insurers to assume the risk of providing liability coverage. (New York Times)

Senator Schumer Calls For Funds For Downtown Rebuilding To Be Spread Around City - Mar 23, 2002
Sen. Charles Schumer wants funds earmarked for lower Manhattan groups to be spread to nonprofits all over the city - including the Bronx Zoo, according to The New York Post. Schumer has been talking with Lower Manhattan Development Corp. chairman John Whitehead, as well as Mayor Bloomberg, about allocating funds slated for nonprofit groups near Ground Zero to the five boroughs. (New York Post)

Federal Government Set To Extend September 11 Special Unemployment Benefits - Mar 19, 2002
The White House today is set to grant a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits to thousands of New Yorkers who may have lost out due to 9/11. The measure - which could then be approved by the Senate later this week - applies only to people who don't qualify for regular unemployment compensation, such as someone who was only working for a few days when the Sept. 11 disaster struck. (New York Post)

New York Officials Say Ending Jet Patrols Puts City at Risk - Mar 19, 2002
The Bush administration's decision to halt 24-hour fighter jet patrols over New York City came under intense criticism today from New York lawmakers, who raised concerns about the city's security. In addition, these lawmakers, all Democrats, questioned why the Bush administration would suspend round- the-clock patrols over New York when it plans to continue such patrols over Washington. (New York Times)

Schumer Urges $225 Million for Nonprofits - Mar 11, 2002
A $225 million plan to help dozens of local nonprofit organizations survive the impact of Sept. 11 was unveiled yesterday. The nonprofits range from such large institutions as the Bronx Zoo, which has lost $5.5 million in revenues, to smaller centers that provide food and nutrition, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said at a news conference held at another organization in jeopardy, the Downtown Athletic Club. (Newsday)

Federal Aid for Victims' Families Officially Increased - Mar 8, 2002
Months of furious and often heartbreaking debate over the federal Sept. 11 victims' compensation fund ended yesterday with the announcement of final regulations and an average payout of about $1.85 million. In last-minute changes, fund administrators decided not to subtract personal pensions and retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans, from fund payments. But other benefits, such as life insurance payouts, will be deducted from the awards. Payouts from the fund will total about $7 billion. (New York Daily News)

Bush Offers Details of Aid to New York Topping $20 Billion - Mar 8, 2002
President Bush declared that he was moving to fulfill his promise to give the city at least $20 billion to help rebuild from the attack on the World Trade Center. The president's decision, which seeks to provide $1.5 billion on top of his original $20 billion pledge, includes $2.7 billion in disaster relief for cleanup at the site paid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency; $1.8 billion to rebuild the subway and PATH lines that were destroyed in Lower Manhattan; $750 million to reconstruct Con Edison and Verizon facilities, a cost that was going to be passed on to customers; and $167 million to repair roads, like the West Side Highway. The Times provides a chart detailing the aid package. (New York Times)

Relatives of Victims To Get More From Federal Government - Mar 6, 2002
Spouses and children of Sept. 11 victims will get more cash than they expected — an extra $50,000 per survivor — but less than they hoped for from the federal compensation fund, under final regulations to be announced tomorrow afternoon. The average family will receive about $1.7 million, $100,000 more than forecast previously. Payments for survivors' pain and suffering and loss of companionship are doubled to $100,000. However, life insurance payouts, Social Security payments to children, workers' compensation and federal death benefits for public employees will all be subtracted from awards, the sources said. (New York Daily News)

FEMA Extends Aid Deadline - Mar 5, 2002
Individuals and businesses affected by the Sept. 11 attacks now have an extra six months to apply for federal aid, thanks to a deadline extension by recovery officials. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Monday that applicants may submit requests for state and federal aid until Sept. 30. The deadline had been March 11. (Newsday)

Officials Say U.S. Should Have Shared Tip on Nuclear Threat - Mar 5, 2002
Officials from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Senators Hilary Clinton and Charles Schumer said yesterday that the federal government should have shared information with them and other local authorities about the threat of a nuclear bomb being smuggled into the city. Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday that he understood the need to evaluate the quality of the information before sharing it with the public. (New York Times)

New Rules In Store For Sept. 11 Federal Compensation Fund - Mar 5, 2002
The Bush administration is close to a decision on several changes in the Victims Compensation Fund that could result in scores of families' receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the fund's original rules would have allowed. The new rules would open the fund to hundreds of additional rescue workers and World Trade Center employees who were injured in the attack, including those who suffered disabling lung ailments. In the most significant financial adjustment, the amount to spouses and children for noneconomic damages like loss of companionship would go to $100,000 from $50,000. (New York Times)

New Yorkers Never Notified of Nuclear Threat - Mar 4, 2002
Top federal officials reportedly feared in October that terrorists were planning to detonate a nuclear bomb in New York — potentially annihilating 100,000 people and flattening a hunk of Manhattan — but never told senior FBI officials, then Mayor Giuliani, or New York residents in general. The doomsday scenario was kept secret because of concerns that it could panic the city, already shaken to its core by the Sept. 11 attacks, Time magazine reported. (New York Daily News)

Hearing Brings Out Anger, Confusion Over Air Quality - Feb 24, 2002
The confusion over the air quality inside and outside buildings near ground zero was clearly evident again yesterday at an investigative hearing before the national ombudsman for the federal Enironmental Protection Agency. City and federal officials "have completely left the tenants and the residents and property owners in Lower Manhattan to their own devices to deal with the contamination and asbestos and other hazardous materials as a result of the World Trade Center," said United States Representative Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes ground zero and who presided over yesterday's hearing. "It's very clear that the city and federal government are not upholding the law." (New York Times)

$700 Million Federal Aid Downtown: A Visual Aid - Feb 12, 2002
The Daily News takes a look at the recent $700 million grant to the city for downtown businesses with a breakdown of the aid offered by the federal government and a map of the area covering eligible businesses. (New York Daily News)

Bush Reaffirms $20 Billion Pledge in NYC Visit - Feb 7, 2002
President Bush flew into New York yesterday and declared that he would stand by his pledge to provide the city with at least $20 billion to help rebuild from last summer's terrorist attacks, moving to dispel doubts raised by Democrats about the depth of the White House's commitment to help New York recover. Bush also announced that he supported a proposal to create $5 billion in tax credits in downtown Manhattan to stop businesses from fleeing the area. "When I say $20 billion, I mean $20 billion," said Bush. (New York Times)

Bush's Budget Reduces Federal Aid, Lawmakers Say - Feb 5, 2002
In his recent budget proposal to Congress, President Bush revealed that he will be including the $5 billion to be paid out to the relatives of the World Trade Center victims as part of the $20 billion aid package he pledged to New York City last fall. New York Congressional representatives are angered over what they see as a shortchanging of relief aid promised by the President, saying that the distribution of the federal compensation fund for relatives of victims was never intended as part of the $20 billion in federal aid. The city has received $11 billion from the federal government so far, and lawmakers anticipated receiving another $9 billion. (New York Post)

Feds Approve $700 Million Grant to Help Rebuild Lower Manhattan - Feb 3, 2002
The Bush administration said today that it had approved a $700 million grant for New York State to help rebuild Lower Manhattan, create jobs and revive businesses devastated by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The secretary of housing and urban development, Mel Martinez, said the money would be released next week, after Congress reviews the spending plan. The money is being provided through the Community Development Block Grant program. Of the $700 million, $396 million is earmarked for loans and grants to small businesses. The next largest portion, $250 million, is to provide incentives for companies to stay in Lower Manhattan or relocate there. (New York Times)

Bush Repledged $20 Billion to Aid City, Official Says - Jan 25, 2002
According to John Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, President Bush renewed his pledge to send the city $20 billion in federal aid. Mr. Whitehead said that he met with the president earlier this month, and reported that President Bush said, "As you need it, we will provide it.'" (New York Times)

Sept. 11 Fed Fund Tops $6B - Jan 23, 2002
Payouts from the federal Sept.11 victims fund will reach a whopping $6 billion, Kenneth Feinberg, the fund's special master, said yesterday. Unpopular rules that say families have to deduct life insurance and pension benefits from the federal compensation will be modified somewhat, he said. "People who do net out to zero [after these deductions] will get something," he said. Issues concerning undocumented immigrants who died at the World Trade Center and domestic partners are also being reviewed. Final regulations will be announced at the end of February. (New York Daily News)

Fund Package Nearly Set to Aid Survivors of 9/11 - Jan 20, 2002
With the commenting period ending this week for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, Kenneth Feinberg, appointed special master of the fund, will now spend the next few weeks finalizing a plan for compensation and distribution of the fund. Feinberg said the plan will be "based on equity, justice and need." (New York Daily News)

Hil Says Senate to Probe WTC Air Quality - Jan 20, 2002
Hillary Clinton announced that the Senate will hold hearings on February 11 to look into the air quality issue in Lower Manhattan, particularly for the emergency workers who have been toiling at ground zero every day since September 11. Clinton also announced that she has secured $12 million to study the long-term health of firefighters and others exposed to asbestos, PCBs, and other toxins at ground zero. (New York Daily News)

Families Meet Privately With Overseer Of Sept. 11 Compensation - Jan 16, 2002
Relatives of the September 11 victims held a private meeting yesterday with Ken Feinberg, the federal Victim Compensation Fund Special Master. One person who attended the meeting said that Feinberg would not budge from the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering compensation, though he said he would do everything he could to maximize awards. Feinberg is accepting recommendations on how to change the rules until January 22. (NY1)

Representatives Seek Changes to Fund - Jan 14, 2002
A dozen members of Congress from New York on Monday urged changes in the proposed rules determining federal compensation for victims of the World Trade Center attacks. Carolyn Maloney, a Manhattan Democrat, and her colleagues urged the fund's overseer, Kenneth Feinberg, not to use outdated labor statistics which discriminate against women. (Newsday)

Clinton: WTC Fund Unfair - Jan 14, 2002
After meeting with loved ones of those killed September 11 in the World Trade Center, Senator Hillary Clinton called for changes to the proposed federal compensation plan. Clinton proposed a minimum compensation amount for families, rather than the current proposal which deducts money based on pre-existing life insurance, IRA, or 401(k) accounts. (Newsday)

Fund Formula an Insult to Their Injuries - Jan 7, 2002
Four members of Congress and forty relatives of victims appeared at a news conference in midtown to denounce the compensation formula created by Kenneth Feinberg, the special master administering the federal Victim Compensation Fund. The families complained the formula sets arbitrary limits on estimated lost earnings and caps compensation for pain and suffering. Victims' families also met yesterday for the first time with Mayor Bloomberg since he took office. (New York Daily News)

Schumer & Hil: Aid Coming - Dec 24, 2001
Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton assured small business owners, displaced workers and people who live near Ground Zero yesterday that billions of dollars of help is on the way.The senators told how the $10.9 billion in federal aid promised to New York would be spent. Although nearly $6.4 billion will cover cleanup costs, $4.6 billion will go directly to small businesses, nonprofits and other groups struggling to stay afloat since the disaster, the senators said. Of the $4.6 billion, $2.7 billion has been earmarked as grants for downtown residents and businesses. An additional $140 million will go to lower Manhattan hospitals. The rest will go toward transportation projects, job training for displaced workers and other programs. Schumer and Clinton pledged to continue pressing Washington for more help. (New York Daily News)

The Chuck and Hillary Show - Dec 16, 2001
No two people are more central to New York's fight for disaster aid than its two senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. In their battle, which overshadows all their other tasks, the two must confront national misconceptions about and wariness of New York. To overcome those obstacles, the two senators must work together, a difficult challenge too, given how different the two politicians are. (New York Times)

Senate Rejects $17 Billion Bill to Aid the City - Dec 8, 2001
Backed by a veto threat from President Bush, Senate Republicans on Friday killed a Democratic plan to provide $17 billion of aid to New York, along with a similar amount of money for various domestic programs to combat terrorism.

The vote was a political victory for Mr. Bush and a major setback for Senate Democrats, who had tried to provide more money than the president sought for New York and for antiterrorism activities.

The Senate vote was 50 to 50. Sixty votes were needed to approve the Democratic plan, because it called for spending in excess of limits previously set by Congress.

Democrats had said the $17 billion in their plan, combined with $3 billion already spent in aid to New York, would fulfill a federal promise made to the state in the week after the attack on the World Trade Center.

The New York senators, Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats, said they now expected that the state would receive $9.5 billion under a compromise devised as an alternative to the $17 billion proposal. The $9.5 billion of aid to New York envisioned under the Senate compromise includes $5.8 billion to remove debris and repair public works at the site of the World Trade Center; $2 billion for community development grants; $140 million to reimburse New York hospitals; and $10 million for mental health services to children in New York. (New York Times)

House Panel Boss Backs $6B in City Aid - Nov 30, 2001
Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, has endorsed a $6.1 billion stimulus plan for lower Manhattan drafted with Governor Pataki, boosting chances that some Sept. 11 tax relief will be enacted for the city this year. (New York Daily News)

Billions at Risk as New York Makes Missteps - Nov 20, 2001
New York has fallen far down Washington's list of priorities since September 11 and as a result could lose billions of dollars in aid. Some of the reasons for this are beyond New York's control, but members of Congress from both parties says New York officials bear part of the blame. Federal, state and city officials from New York have seemed to have different agendas, and it has been difficult to determine who really speaks for the city. As a result, many observers are skeptical that New York will ever get all of the $20 billion it was promised by President Bush after the attacks. (New York Times)