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.
“In other words, we can’t budget for these disasters,” Durbin said. “We’re going to have to get together on a bipartisan basis to deal with this.”
Cantor’s 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.”