updated 5/4/2006 11:40:16 AM ET 2006-05-04T15:40:16

A key congressman on Thursday agreed to allow the federal government to spend $5 million for a Memorial honoring those killed when the hijacked Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Rep. Charles H. Taylor, R-N.C., chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Interior Department, had blocked funds for the project for the past two years, saying he was concerned that it would not receive sufficient private donations and that the federal government would be asked to bail it out.

The White House had requested $5 million to buy land for the project, and Taylor included that amount in a larger appropriations bill that his subcommittee approved Thursday. “This is a responsible bill,” he said.

An additional $5 million is expected to be sought next year.

The measure still must be approved by the larger Congress. It has support in the Senate from Pennsylvania Republican Sens. Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter.

Plans call for the memorial to be built on a nearly 1,700-acre site outside Shanksville, Pa., where the plane crashed apparently after passengers rushed the cockpit in an effort to wrest it from terrorists.

Universal Pictures, which last week released “United 93,” about the flight, on Wednesday donated $1.15 million toward the memorial. That brought to about $9 million the private donations raised.

Organizers hope to raise $30 million in private funding to build the memorial. The total cost of the memorial is estimated to be $58 million.

The flight was en route to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., when the hijackers took over, likely with the goal of crashing the plane into the White House or the Capitol. The 33 passengers, seven crew members and four hijackers on board all died.

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