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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 07:24 GMT 08:24 UK
Congress backs $20bn aid package
Members of Congress gather on the steps of the Capitol in Washington
Congress sang God Bless America on the steps of the Capitol
Leaders of US Congress are recommending that $20bn be given to emergency relief efforts following the devastating attack on New York and Washington.

A vote on the recommendation will be made on Thursday, but correspondents say the move is unlikely to be opposed.

Heinz tomato sauce
Heinz and other major corporations are also giving aid
President Bush had initially asked for the authority to spend an unlimited amount on the attack aftermath but, according to Reuters news agency, some members baulked at the suggestion.

The money will be spent on all aspects of the crisis, including the rescue and recovery operation, improving security measures and investigating the attacks.

Business aid

The nation has rallied to provide support for relief efforts and the victims' families. Major corporations and small businesses, and religious and sports groups, have donated millions of dollars.

Major contributions include:

  • $10m from General Electric Co. for the families of New York emergency services who died trying to save those in the WTC
  • $6m from Cisco Systems Inc. to the Red Cross and other relief groups
  • $1m from Wells Fargo and Co. to the Red Cross
  • Wireless phones for disaster workers and $500,000 to the Red Cross from Spring
  • $100,000 to a relief fund and food to rescue workers from HJ Heinz and HJ Heinz Foundation

Congress leaders have agreed to abandon their political differences and tackle the tragedy together.

The wife of former President Bill Clinton, New York Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, vowed to "stand united" behind the Republican President George Bush.

"I hope that the message has gotten through to everywhere it needs to be heard - that you are either with America in our time of need or you are not," Mrs Clinton said.

See also:

13 Sep 01 | Business
US allows limited air service
12 Sep 01 | Americas
Frozen with fear
12 Sep 01 | Americas
Spotlight on failed US intelligence
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