Report: U.S. Slow in Giving Aid to NYC
NEW YORK (AP) _ The federal government has paid out less than a quarter of the $21.4 billion it pledged to New York City in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a published report.
The New York Times, which examined the spending of the promised aid, reported Monday that the government has delivered between $4.5 billion and $5 billion and has intentionally delayed payments in some cases.
Some government agencies, plagued by bureaucratic blunders, have been slow in allocating their funds, while other aid has been held up because local and state officials have not decided how it should be spent.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, charged with distributing nearly $9 billion, has paid out some $2.3 billion but has yet to decide how to spend roughly $366 million.
``FEMA will spend the $8.8 billion on this disaster, no question about it,″ said Brad Gair, the agency’s federal recovery officer in New York. ``It will all be spent.″
Federal officials said the government did not plan to distribute the roughly $5 billion reserved for a new downtown transportation network until the city had finalized a plan for one.
The government has also set aside some $1 billion of the total pledged amount as insurance money for companies involved in the cleanup of the World Trade Center site. Companies would use the money to defend themselves against any lawsuits.
Some New York officials said the city could use additional funds beyond the promised $21.4 billion.
``Part of what we have to do is show that we’re not being greedy, we’re not overreaching,″ Sen. Hillary Clinton said. ``But if you look at every other disaster, we are being confident in saying what we need. So I am confident that we will be able to make the case.″