The Biden administration is proposing an extra $4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund, raising the total fund request to $16 billion for congressional approval.
This increased funding demand is in reaction to both the wildfires on Maui and the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia.
Highlighting the nation’s urgent needs, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) representative stated, “Given the intensity of disaster activity around the nation… the Administration is seeking an additional $4 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF).”
During a recent visit to the FEMA headquarters, where President Biden provided lunch for the staff, he emphasized the importance of Congress quickly approving the disaster relief fund. He mentioned, “We need this disaster relief met, and we need to do it in September, it can’t wait.” The OMB has also echoed these sentiments, underscoring the importance of equipping FEMA with adequate resources to assist distressed communities.
Despite this, some Republicans have called President Biden to “cut the pork” from the funding request. The $16 billion request for FEMA is tied to a larger funding package that would provide $24 billion in assistance to Ukraine and other countries worldwide.