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 MulvaneyProtect the Military Lending Act On The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Warren suggests Mulvaney broke law by speaking to GOP donors MORE sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenTrump endorses Republican candidate in key NJ House race On The Money: Lawmakers get deal to avoid shutdown | House panel approves 'tax cuts 2.0' bill | Jobless claims hold steady near 49-year low Congress sends first spending package to Trump in push to avert shutdown 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.