White House Requests $44 Billion in Additional Disaster Relief

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Damage from Hurricane Maria in Utuado, Puerto Rico, was nonetheless seen final week. The storm made landfall on Sept. 20.

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Alvin Baez/Reuters

WASHINGTON — The White House requested Congress on Friday for $44 billion in extra reduction from this yr’s devastating hurricanes however urged lawmakers to make spending cuts to offset catastrophe prices that are actually approaching $100 billion.

The White House request for extra catastrophe reduction after the hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria, arrange a doable confrontation over whether or not Congress should to search out spending cuts to pay for reduction at the same time as President Trump pushes for as a lot as $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over a decade.

White House officers prompt a raft of cuts to pay for the reduction, together with $730 million from the Army Corps of Engineers’ operations, upkeep, flood management and coastal emergencies funds, $196 million from the Department of Agriculture’s rural financial improvement program, and $72 million from the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The State Department’s Democracy Fund would lose $99 million and the Department of Transportation freeway support to states would lose $1 billion.

Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the highest Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, instantly rebuked the White House over its requests to offset the funding.

“Just one day after pushing the House to pbad a mbadive tax cut for corporations and the wealthy that would add $1.5 trillion to the debt, it is galling that the administration is requesting offsets in exchange for helping Americans rebuild their lives,” Ms. Lowey stated in a press release. “Holding vital recovery funding hostage to unrelated and often divisive spending debates is wrong, and only delays fulfillment of our obligation to help disaster victims.”

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Republicans have been conspicuously quiet about their considerations over including to the ballooning nationwide debt. The deficit for the 2017 fiscal yr totaled $666 billion, a rise of $80 billion from the earlier yr.

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