$5.1 billion released for military, air marshals

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has decided to use $5.1 billion to increase military spending, put federal marshals on some airline flights and give rewards for information about terrorists -- the government's initial round of spending to counter last week's attacks.

The money, which Bush released on Friday, is the first installment of the $40 billion emergency package Congress enacted last week after the Sept. 11 disasters in New York and Washington.

Half the money would go to the Defense Department, which would use it to improve intelligence, repair the damaged Pentagon and other activities.

The rest would be divided among about 20 Cabinet level departments and agencies, as well as Congress and the judicial branch. Included is $2.5 million for the White House, Capitol and the Supreme Court to put a substance on their windows that is supposed to prevent them from shattering in an explosion.

"It shows once again that America is there for New York," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who estimated that $2 billion of the $5.1 billion would be for his battered home state.

Up to $40 billion

Under the terms of last week's emergency bill, Bush is allowed to spend $20 billion of the $40 billion measure after informing Congress of his decisions. The administration may announce how it will spend another chunk of the funds within the next two weeks, said White House budget director Mitchell Daniels.

After the $2.5 billion for the Defense Department, the next biggest piece is $2 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money is for debris removal at the Pentagon and the obliterated World Trade Center towers, aid for victims and their families, and search and rescue efforts.

Also included is $123 million for the Federal Aviation Administration to boost airport security, including paying federal law enforcement officers serving as sky marshals aboard some flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration is advertising for air marshals, offering salaries ranging from $35,100 to $80,800. The armed guards will fly both domestic and international routes, and applicants must be under 37 years old and obtain a top secret security clearance.

Legislation introduced Friday in the Senate would expand the program and impose a $1 per ticket charge to help pay for the marshals and other security improvements.

Bush decided to give $49 million to the State Department, half of it for rewards that help apprehend terrorists.

The Small Business Administration will get $100 million with which it can help finance $400 million worth of low-interest loans for residents and businesses in the affected areas. And the Department of Health and Human Services will get $126 million to help medical centers and mental health services in the areas.

Other activities for which Bush released funds Friday include increasing security at the Department of Energy's national laboratories, paying the FBI's extra expenses for its investigation, evacuating foreign embassies if necessary and relocating more than 1,000 federal employees who worked in or near the World Trade Center.