The Disaster Relief Fund of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is running critically low due to the successive wave of extreme weather this year. In response, the Biden administration is urging Congress for an additional $4 billion to bolster the fund. This comes on the heels of President Biden's previous request for $12 billion in emergency assistance. Just recently, while addressing the devastation caused by Hurricane Idalia in several southern states, Biden emphasized the need for Congress to provide more funds to FEMA.
The Biden admin is asking Congress to approve an additional $4 billion to replenish FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, which has been taxed by a brutal stretch of extreme weather across the country this year.https://t.co/LG7hbZneVe
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 1, 2023
In a statement from the White House Office of Management and Budget concerning the requested $4 billion, it was highlighted that the nation has been grappling with disasters like fires in Maui, Louisiana, and other parts of the country, significant floods in Vermont, and a major hurricane affecting Florida and the Southeast. This underscores the need for more funds for FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund.
Biden's commitment to the crisis is evident. He plans to visit Florida this Saturday to personally assess the damage caused by Hurricane Idalia, which later downgraded to a tropical storm. Moreover, earlier in the week, he visited the FEMA office, interacted with the staff, and even treated them to pizza. This gesture reinforces his appeal to Congress to swiftly approve the much-needed funds for disaster relief.
However, Biden's call for funding hasn't garnered unanimous support in Congress. Some of his ex-Senate peers are skeptical about the necessity of the funds he's asking for. At a time when the wellbeing of Americans is at risk, Congress seems to be dragging its feet. Biden, however, remains steadfast in his plea for Congress to sanction the disaster relief funds promptly, ideally this September, without any further excuses or delays.
Biden is clearly taking proactive measures to mitigate the consequences of adverse weather events. It's crucial for Congress to heed this call and act promptly.