US President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration for Washington here ahead of his successor Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, amidst threat perception to the event by federal agencies.
In a statement on Monday, the White House said the President’s action authorises; the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate relief efforts; to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population.
The emergency in Washington D.C. will be effective from Monday till January 24. It comes in the wake of last week’s violent protest, in which thousands of pro-Trump supports stormed the Capitol building and clashed with police, interrupting a constitutional process by Congress to affirm the victory of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the election. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the protest.
According to the White House, the emergency declaration; also provides appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorised under Title V of the Stafford Act; to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety; and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the District of Columbia.
Specifically, the FEMA is authorised to identify, mobilise, and provide at its discretion, equipment, and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.
Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 100% Federal funding, the White House said.
Thomas J Fargione from the DHS and Pete Gaynor, Administrator, FEMA, are the Federal Coordinating Officer for operations in the affected area. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned of armed protests at all 50 US state capitals, including Washington, in the lead up to next week’s 59th Presidential inauguration. Similarly, the US National Guard Bureau has also warned of possible riots next week.