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 FrelinghuysenTop House GOP appropriations staffer moves to lobbying shop Individuals with significant disabilities need hope and action Exiting lawmakers jockey for K Street perch 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 Nelson2020 party politics in Puerto Rico There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition Dem 2020 candidates court Puerto Rico as long nomination contest looms 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 CornynPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week How the border deal came together 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 ThunePolls: Hiking estate tax less popular than taxing mega wealth, income Will Trump sign the border deal? Here's what we know Key GOP senator pitches Trump: Funding deal a 'down payment' on wall MORE (R-S.D.).