White House: Irene's Federal Cost $1.5 Billion

WASHINGTON -- The White House is estimating that Hurricane Irene will cost the federal government $1.5 billion in disaster relief.

White House budget chief Jacob Lew released that preliminary estimate Monday. He said the $1.5 billion was on top of $5.2 billion needed for other recent disasters, including tornadoes that leveled much of Joplin, Mo.

The spending may touch off yet another partisan fight between President Barack Obama and Congress.

The Obama administration has said last month's debt ceiling deal with Congress allows the money to be spent by adding to federal deficits -- a long-time practice for financing emergencies. The House's No. 2 Republican, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, has said the disaster spending should be paid for by finding offsetting cuts from the rest of the budget.

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  • by Dawg on Sep 5, 2011 at 03:55 PM
    If this money was going to help other countries, there would not be a problem. It seems only when it is to help the Americans that pay the taxes is it a problem. Cut out the foreign aid to China, Cuba, India and the hundreds of other places and they will have the money to help Americans.
  • by ME on Sep 5, 2011 at 03:27 PM
    That must be nice they told my daughter that has 4 small children they couldnot help them her house was flooded i thought they said plenty of money to help whats wrong with that picture they dont know what they are going to do she was one of the first to call fema no take it and send it overseas

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