Trump asks for another $44 billion in disaster aid

Trump asks for another $44 billion in disaster aid
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The White House is requesting roughly $44 billion in additional aid from Congress on Friday for Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida and other disaster-stricken areas.

In a letter to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia National Dems make play in Ohio special election Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin MORE (R-Wis.), the Trump administration said the $44 billion is not the final disaster request because "detailed damage assessments" are not yet complete for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

"Accordingly, the Administration will continue to identify, refine, and articulate additional emergency funding requirements working with the governments of Puerto Rico and USVI," wrote Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Trump pick to head watchdog agency is who consumers need Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy MORE, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Mulvaney added that it would be "prudent" for Congress to offset the cost of the new disaster spending and offered suggestions for how to do so.

Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranTodd Young in talks about chairing Senate GOP campaign arm US farming cannot afford to continue to fall behind Mississippi Democrat drops Senate bid MORE (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, on Friday said his panel would begin analyzing the White House request "immediately."

"The Administration’s latest request for supplemental funding is one more step toward helping states and communities recover from the destruction of recent hurricanes and wildfires," he said in a statement. 

The aid request is less than what some officials from affected areas have said is needed. 

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Monday asked for $94.4 billion from Congress for rebuilding efforts on the island, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in October. Texas requested $61 billion in federal aid this month to assist in rebuilding efforts in the southeastern portions of the state hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.

Congress gave the green light last month to send $36.5 billion to areas that were affected by the hurricanes. It also included help for wildfire recovery efforts in the West.

Lawmakers say they would consider another round of disaster funding after they went over requests from U.S. state and commonwealth governments.  

The White House has faced backlash for its response to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Critics say basic necessities such as food and water from the federal government were slow to reach those in need on the island.

As of Friday morning, the Puerto Rico government reported that more than half of the island does not have electricity.

- This story was updated at 1:53 p.m.