Today, the President transmitted an official budget request to cover disaster needs in FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund through FY 2012.
This follows up on a letter Jack Lew sent Tuesday to the leadership of the Appropriations and Budget Committees outlining our expected needs.
Specifically, today we sent a budget amendment requesting an additional $4.6 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund for FY 2012. This amount would cover the cost of responding to Hurricane Irene as well as outstanding costs of previous disasters. We also sent a supplemental appropriations request for $500 million to cover anticipated needs for the remaining few weeks of FY 2011. As Jack wrote earlier this week, the Administration is committed to making funds available in the amount and time they are needed. We have worked closely with FEMA and DHS this week to monitor these needs, and have determined that the Disaster Relief Fund requires these supplemental funds to prudently get us through this period. We are also reviewing potential disaster needs in other agencies, and will submit an additional amendment if funding is warranted.
All of us are dedicated to taking care of our fellow Americans whose lives have been turned upside down by disasters. We look forward to working with Congress to help them recover and rebuild.
Kenneth Baer is a Senior Advisor and the Associate Director for Communications and Strategic Planning.