WH seeks to cut back spending as disaster relief spending mounts

WH seeks to cut back spending as disaster relief spending mounts
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The White House is seeking to cut back federal spending as expensive disaster relief packages continue to advance through Congress.
 
White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOvernight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule MORE sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenGOP angst over midterms grows House Democrats add seven candidates to 'Red-to-Blue' program Rep. Steve Womack said to have 'inside track' on key gavel MORE (R-N.J.) suggesting $5.6 billion worth of potential cuts to federal spending that he said were “prudent as the discussion around emergency funding of all types continue."
 
The letter specified it was not intended to offset "any specific component" of disaster relief, and focused on previously-designated emergency spending.
 
Sixty-nine Republicans voted against the second aid relief bill that passed the House on Thursday, many of them citing concerns over the package's deficit effects.

Rep. Mark Walker (N.C.), who leads the Republican Study Committee caucus, was one of the lawmakers who voted against the legislation due to the lack of offsets.

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“Hurricane aid shouldn’t be added to the debt. That’s akin to going to the Emergency Room after an injury, putting the charges on a credit card, and then pretending that the Visa bill is never going to arrive,” Walker wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Conservatives in recent years have called for spending cuts or offsetting emergency funds for disaster relief. If the $36.5 billion House-passed package is signed into law, it will bring the level of emergency spending in the past two months alone to more than $50 billion. 

More funding is expected to be necessary in the wake of major natural disasters, such as hurricanes that ravaged parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Gulf Coast, as well as ongoing wildfires in California.
 
The U.S. has already experienced 15 natural disasters costing over $1 billion in 2017, according to government figures.