Obama Asks for $5.1 Billion in Disaster Aid

John Boehner

President Obama formally asked Congress on Friday for $5.1 billion to cover the federal cost of the response to recent natural disasters, including the tornadoes in the Midwest and Hurricane Irene. In a letter to Speaker John A. Boehner, the president wrote that the added money would help bolster the Disaster Relief Fund, which is down to less than $900 million, according to W. Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The House majority leader, Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, has said that added money for relief should be matched by budget cuts elsewhere. The administration argues that under the debt-ceiling measure enacted last month, Congress can provide the money without offsets.

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