White House seeks spending offsets for next disaster relief bill

White House seeks spending offsets for next disaster relief bill
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The White House wants Congress to cut spending in order to offset disaster relief funding in its next aid package.
 
“As we move toward the longer-term issues of rebuilding the impacted areas of our Nation, we believe that it is appropriate that the Congress consider reducing spending elsewhere in order to offset what will, again, be a significant amount of unbudgeted spending,” White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyWhite House preparing to ask Congress for funds to combat coronavirus: report Tucker Carlson calls out Mick Mulvaney on immigration remarks: 'Dishonest and stupid' Trump furious after officials allowed Americans with coronavirus to fly home with other passengers: report MORE wrote in a Tuesday letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders's momentum puts Democrats on edge House Freedom Caucus chairman endorses Collins's Georgia Senate bid This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (R-Ky.).
 
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Mulvaney sent the letter hours after the Senate on Tuesday approved a second aid bill for victims of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as recent wildfires in California.
 
The $36.5 billion package followed an initial $15 billion relief package in September. The White House said it was preparing another aid request for mid-November.
 
A handful of conservative Republicans voted against the package, saying that blowing up the deficit was irresponsible, even for relief efforts. 
 
But lawmakers from Texas, Florida and California have pushed for quick action on funds, and expressed concerns that unpopular cuts might gum up the much-needed funding bills.
 
This year is on track to make records for the number of billion-dollar disasters, tying 2011 with 15 such major natural disasters at this point in the year.
 
Mulvaney had previously identified $5.5 billion in funds that had not yet been spent from previously-designated disaster bills as a source of potential cuts.