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GOP chairman: FEMA has enough money for Hurricane Michael

GOP chairman: FEMA has enough money for Hurricane Michael
© Greg Nash

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenBottom line Republican lobbying firms riding high despite uncertainty of 2020 race Ex-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm MORE (R-N.J.) says Congress does not need to pass a disaster relief package for victims of Hurricane Michael immediately because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sufficient funding.

Frelinghuysen’s statement reflects the views of other GOP lawmakers who say a disaster relief package won’t pass before the election and may even wait until next year.

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“The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) currently has sufficient funds for immediate disaster response thanks to prior action from Congress,” Frelinghuysen said in a statement.

He said the Appropriations Committee continuously monitors funding levels and disaster response requirements and vowed Congress would pass additional funding if necessary.

“Should the need arise, my committee is prepared to act quickly,” he said. “Our thoughts are with those affected by this and other hurricanes, and we urge all in the storm’s continued path to stay safe.”

A GOP aide said FEMA currently has $25 billion available in its accounts.

A spokesperson for Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Florida Democrats mired in division, debt ahead of 2022 Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (D-Fla.), who has been in Florida this week surveying the damage, did not respond to a request for comment.

GOP leaders said it will take a while to determine what if any additional assistance is needed from Congress.

The damage from the storm is projected to cost $30 billion or more.

“I think they need to do an assessment first and we’ll assess that as soon as they’re ready,” said Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Biden gets involved to help break Senate logjam Overnight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels MORE (Texas).

“It’s all going to be determined what the needs are and the states are probably going to give us some direction on that,” said Senate Republican Conference Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Biden gets involved to help break Senate logjam MORE (R-S.D.).