Biden DEMANDING additional $16 BILLION for FEMA’s disaster relief fund after Hurricane Idalia, Maui fires – NaturalNews.com
Written by GRB on 06/09/2023
Biden DEMANDING additional $16 BILLION for FEMA’s disaster relief fund after Hurricane Idalia, Maui fires
The administration of President Joe Biden is demanding an additional $16 billion in taxpayer funding from Congress to bolster the disaster response budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following the twin natural disasters brought about by the fires in Maui and Hurricane Idalia’s impact in Florida.
The White House requested $4 billion from Congress on Friday, Sept. 1. This request is on top of the $12 billion in extra funding the administration initially demanded last month to top up FEMA’s disaster relief fund, which allegedly helps with emergency relief and rescue efforts.
Office of Management and Budget spokesperson Shelby Wagenseller claimed that due to the disasters in Hawaii and Florida, as well as the fires in Louisiana and the flooding in Vermont, the additional $16 billion in funding is sorely needed. (Related: DEBT BLOWOUT: US debt has soared $1.2T since debt ceiling suspension – and the Treasury expects to add another $1.5T by year’s end.)
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell stressed that if the country sees more disasters until the end of the fiscal year in October, the agency’s disaster fund will need to be closely monitored.
“But right now, as the situation stands, the supplemental request will get us through the end of this fiscal year,” she said.
Agency spending on natural disasters can rapidly deplete the fund. Last October, FEMA reportedly spent an initial $2.5 billion just on Hurricane Ian, and total spending on the storm would balloon to $4.35 billion.
No fund for disaster, but enough fund for luxury
FEMA’s disaster fund, which it uses to immediately respond to disaster relief and recovery efforts, has just $3.4 billion left.
Criswell claimed that the disaster relief fund would be exhausted by the first half of September if it is not immediately replenished. The agency’s remaining funds are being redirected to prioritize the immediate needs of people affected by the Maui fires and Hurricane Idalia, meaning recovery efforts from past disasters – like the Louisiana fires and the Vermont flooding – are being put on the back burner.
“I want to stress that while immediate needs funding will ensure we can continue to respond to disasters, it is not a permanent solution,” said Criswell. “Congress must work with us on the supplemental request that the administration has made on behalf of FEMA.”
“I’m calling on Congress to make sure you’re able to have the funds to be able to continue to show up and meet the needs of the American people to deal with immediate crises that we’re facing right now, as well as the long-term commitments we have to make to finish the job in Maui and elsewhere,” said Biden on Thursday, Aug. 31, during a visit to FEMA headquarters. “We need this money done, we need this disaster relief request met, we need to do it in September, we can’t wait.”
The $16 billion FEMA and Biden are asking for disaster relief is part of the additional $44 billion the White House is seeking in total supplemental funding – a massive price tag that will definitely be closely scrutinized, if not outright rejected, by House Republicans that want to limit federal spending and bring down the government deficit.
Further criticism has been levied against FEMA for how it spends its disaster fund. Following the Maui fires, it was reported that FEMA officials who went to the island for disaster relief efforts stayed in luxury hotels and resorts with rates starting at $1,000 per night.
FEMA teams checked in at three five-star hotels – the Fairmont Kea Lani, the Four Seasons at Wailea and the Grand Wailea Astoria. More than 1,000 FEMA personnel went to Maui, supposedly to aid in disaster relief.
Learn more about the government’s response to natural disasters at Disaster.news.
Watch this episode of “World Alternative Media” as host Josh Sigurdson discusses how FEMA is spending nearly $3 billion on “climate resiliency.”
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