White House requests $29B for disaster relief
The White House on Wednesday formally asked Congress for $29 billion in disaster relief, a request that comes after three hurricanes ravaged multiple U.S. territories and states.
The funding request includes $12.77 billion in disaster relief for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and $16 billion for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It also asked for $576.5 million for for wildfire suppression.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, called on Congress to provide funds for the victims of the recent storms and noted that this round of appropriations “certainly” won’t be enough to address the needs of the individuals affected.
“It is abundantly clear that the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are in need of more help – in dollars, in resources, in manpower, and in federal support,” Frelinghuysen said in a statement.
“My Committee has already begun to move on this emergency funding request, and will put legislation forward as soon as possible.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) released a statement in response to the request.
“A significant number of Americans and their communities are working to overcome devastation from natural disasters. These emergencies have strained disaster response resources, which requires us to ensure federal agencies have sufficient funds for response and recovery needs,” Cochran said.
“I encourage Congress to act swiftly to ensure those affected by hurricanes, wildfires, or other disasters receive the assistance they need.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also spoke of his support for the request.
“The Senate remains committed to doing its part to support relief efforts along with FEMA, the Department of Defense, and the rest of the administration to help those in need,” McConnell said in a statement.
“This funding request will ensure the men and women providing critical support to regions impacted by major disasters, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, and Florida will have the resources they need so they can continue their important work,” he added.