Durbin calls Cantor’s plan to pay for disaster relief ‘impossible’

Durbin argued that insurance experts and others are predicting an increase in costly natural disasters, making it hard to budget for these events. He said the United States has already had a record 10 natural disasters in 2011 that cost more than $1 billion in damages, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency was already known to be $2 billion to $4 billion short of funding, even before Hurricane Irene struck the East Coast.

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He also said that in the last decade, $110 billion of the $130 billion Congress has given to FEMA was been through emergency appropriations bills.

In other words, we cant budget for these disasters, Durbin said. Were going to have to get together on a bipartisan basis to deal with this.

Cantors call to pay for any increased disaster aid has been met with some criticism from both parties, although it fits in with the general Republican goal of avoiding new deficit spending, and finding offsets.

We will find the money if there is a need for additional monies, Cantor said last week, adding that federal money is not unlimited.