Fugate: Dwindling emergency fund won't hamper post-Irene recovery efforts

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate dismissed concerns that the agencys dwindling emergency aid fund would hamper recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, The Associated Press reported.

We’re going to do what we’re supposed to do, Fugate said on CBS’s The Early Show.

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He added that FEMA would work with the White House on funds needed to recover from this and other disasters.”

Hurricane Irene, which hit the U.S. mainland Saturday, left a trail of destruction from North Carolina up the Eastern Seaboard to New England.

As federal emergency relief workers provide aid for the recovery efforts, questions have been raised about funding.

FEMA’s disaster relief fund has dropped below a key threshold and is now at $792 million. Normally when the fund balance drops below $1 billion, FEMA prioritizes spending to deal with immediate needs.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has insisted that any additional funds for disaster aid for Hurricane Irene should be offset with spending cuts.

Administration officials criticized this proposal Tuesday. White House press secretary Jay Carney said it was too early to debate funding and that the government’s top priority was responding to the disaster.