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Obama inauguration could be costliest ever

world Updated: Jan 19, 2009 12:18 IST

US President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20 is expected to cost a whopping $150 million, making it the most expensive in the American history.

Obama's inauguration expenses are likely to be to the tune of over $150 million, overshadowing the USD 42.3 million spent on George Bush's inauguration in 2005 and $33 million on Bill Clinton's in 1993, a media report said.

Part of the spending includes emergency funding announced by the White House on Wednesday to help with the soaring costs.

The costs are likely to go up if it snows during the ceremony, as long-term weather forecast has suggested there are chances of snow on Sunday as well as Tuesday, the day of inauguration.

Further, most of the funding would be to deal with around 1.5 to two million people expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the United States' first African American president, a report in the Guardian said.

The surge in spending is partly because of Obama's decision to make the event as accessible to the public as possible.

The report quoted a spokeswoman for the joint congressional committee on inaugural ceremonies Carole Florman as saying, "We are always very budget conscious. But we are sending a message to the entire world about our peaceful transition of power, and you do not want it to look like a schlock affair. It needs to be appropriate to the magnitude of events that it is."