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Bush Signs $40B Terrorism Package

September 19, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush signed into law Tuesday a $40 billion package to rebuild after last week’s terrorist attacks. He also put his signature to the congressional resolution authorizing him to use military force against those responsible.

``Our whole nation is unalterably committed to a direct, forceful and comprehensive response to these terrorist attacks and the scourge of terrorism directed against the United States,″ Bush said in a statement.

He also signed legislation expediting benefit payments to injured firefighters and police, or to the survivors of public safety officers killed when hijackers slammed jets into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon one week ago.

Hundreds of firefighters and scores of police officers were killed trying to rescue workers inside the World Trade Center towers before they collapsed.

Bush thanked the House and Senate for giving him the power to wage war on terrorists and the prime suspect in these attacks, Osama bin Laden. The president promised to continue to consult with Congress as he plots the United States’ military response.

``Those who plan, authorize, commit or aid terrorist attacks against the United States and its interests _ including those who harbor terrorists _ threaten the national security of the United States,″ Bush said.

``It is, therefore, necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to defend itself and protect United States citizens both at home and abroad.″

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The bills are S.J.Res.23 (use of force), H.R. 2888 ($40 billion spending package), H.R. 2882 (expedited benefit payments).

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