Washington Post — By Damian Paletta, Mike DeBonis and Ed O’Keefe October 3 at 7:29 PM
Photo: President Donald Trump throwing paper towels to hurricane victims. AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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The White House as soon as Wednesday will ask Congress to authorize almost $30 billion in new funding to address recent natural disasters, a senior administration official said, adding to the costly tally from three deadly hurricanes that have devastated Puerto Rico and parts of Texas and Florida in recent weeks.
The funding request includes $12.77 billion in disaster recovery funds, $577 million to address wildfires, and $15 billion to fund the flood insurance program. It is not expected to seek budget cuts to offset the new spending. In early September, Congress authorized $7.9 billion in disaster relief funding to deal with damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but the White House said it would eventually need to come back and seek more assistance.
In late September, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, prompting the White House to seek new funds even faster. Trump visited the U.S. territory on Tuesday and accused the island of causing budget problems for the government.
“You have thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico and that’s fine,” Trump said during his visit.
The White House and congressional Republicans have taken a much different approach in response to the recent hurricanes than they tried to take during past storms, when some fiscal conservatives opposed new disaster relief money that wasn’t offset by spending cuts in other areas. Trump sought quick relief in response to Harvey, which hit Texas, and Irma, which hit Florida, and he committed to completely rebuilding both states.