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Biden wants an extra $4 billion for disaster relief, bringing the total request to $16 billion

by Sophia Chen
3 comments
Disaster Relief Funding

The Biden administration has put forth an increased request of $4 billion for disaster relief in addition to the existing supplemental funding, raising the total amount sought to $16 billion. This move by the White House underscores the escalating costs borne by U.S. taxpayers due to the rising intensity of natural disasters such as wildfires, floods, and hurricanes, which have been exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

Initially, the Biden administration had asked for an extra $12 billion to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief efforts, which encompass rescue and relief initiatives. However, due to the occurrence of events like wildfires in Hawaii and Louisiana, flooding in Vermont, and the impact of Hurricane Idalia on Florida and other states in the Southeast, the total amount required has been revised to $16 billion. The policy analyst in the Office of Management and Budget, Shelby Wagenseller, explained that these multiple crises necessitate the additional funding.

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell had previously indicated that the initial $12 billion would sufficiently cover the agency’s requirements until the end of the current fiscal year. However, as the situation evolved, it became evident that a higher sum was necessary. Criswell emphasized that the $16 billion supplemental funding request would serve as a bridge to sustain operations until the fiscal year’s conclusion.

President Joe Biden personally visited FEMA’s headquarters in Washington on Thursday to advocate for the increased disaster relief funding. He stressed the urgency of meeting this request in September and expressed confusion regarding lawmakers’ opposition to the funding, stating, “I’m not even sure what their thinking is.”

In response to Biden’s call for additional funds, the Office of Management and Budget swiftly determined that an extra $4 billion should be added to the supplemental funding package. This measure also includes provisions to aid Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and address the issue of fentanyl addiction.

Biden’s overall goal is to secure approximately $44 billion in total supplemental funding, a proposition that could face resistance from House Republicans. Many Republican lawmakers are focused on limiting federal expenditures. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, previously downplayed the need for a supplemental funding request after reaching an agreement with Biden to extend the government’s legal borrowing authority.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Disaster Relief Funding

What is the purpose of the additional funding request for disaster relief?

The purpose of the additional funding request for disaster relief is to address the escalating costs incurred by the U.S. due to intensifying natural disasters like wildfires, floods, and hurricanes, which are exacerbated by climate change.

How much additional funding is being requested by the Biden administration?

The Biden administration is seeking an extra $4 billion in funding for disaster relief, bringing the total requested amount to $16 billion.

Why was the initial funding request of $12 billion revised?

The initial funding request of $12 billion was revised due to a series of ongoing crises, including wildfires in Hawaii and Louisiana, flooding in Vermont, and the impact of Hurricane Idalia on Florida and other Southeastern states. These events collectively necessitated the higher funding amount.

What does the supplemental funding package encompass?

The supplemental funding package includes provisions not only for disaster relief but also for aiding Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and addressing the issue of fentanyl addiction.

How did President Biden respond to the need for additional funding?

President Biden visited FEMA’s offices in Washington and advocated for the disaster relief funding, stressing its urgency and expressing his confusion over lawmakers’ opposition to it.

Could there be resistance to the supplemental funding request?

Yes, there could be resistance from House Republicans who are focused on limiting federal spending. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy previously downplayed the need for supplemental funding after reaching an agreement with Biden on government borrowing authority.

What is the overall funding goal sought by President Biden?

President Biden aims to secure approximately $44 billion in total supplemental funding, which includes the disaster relief funds and other provisions in the package.

More about Disaster Relief Funding

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3 comments

AutoEnthusiast September 1, 2023 - 10:31 pm

hurricanes hitting, biden wants 16 billion! crazy numbers. floods, fires – disaster relief rly needed!

Reply
GraceEconWriter September 2, 2023 - 5:53 am

disasters + climate change = big $$. biden seeks extra 4 bil. GOP pushback expected. fiscal fight!

Reply
Alex Johnson September 2, 2023 - 6:46 am

biden wants more money for disasters. total now 16 billion!! wow, that’s huge! climate stuff is making things costly.

Reply

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