House committee to investigate FEMA's late change to its budget estimate

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said his committee is examining why the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suddenly changed its estimation of the amount of money it needed to deal with several natural disasters over the summer.

"I'm disappointed … that the agency has apparently been playing games with the numbers, and my committee is closely examining why FEMA's estimates changed at the eleventh hour," Rogers said on the House floor.

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Rogers was referring to FEMA's sudden announcement last week that it did not need additional funds to take it through the rest of fiscal year 2011, which ended Friday. That announcement allowed Democrats to drop their demand for increased funding for FEMA, which in turn allowed Republicans to agree to drop language that would have given FEMA another $1 billion for FY 2011 offset by cuts to a Department of Energy program that Democrats defended.

While the sudden announcement helped end a stalemate that allowed Congress to move on a short-term funding bill for the government, it also led to questions from Republicans about how FEMA's estimates could have changed so quickly. Rogers said FEMA "suddenly, and I might add mysteriously, announced that these funds were no longer necessary."

Rogers added that it is "clear" that FEMA will need additional funding at some point to cope with the cleanup related to the recent natural disasters.

-- This story was updated at 2:55 p.m.

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