This week, the Trump administration submitted a request for $29 billion in supplemental disaster aid for hurricane relief and wildfire suppression in western states. The proposal could prove contentious, especially a provision that infuses $16 billion in debt relief for the National Flood Insurance Program, but the proposal will benefit from support from conservative members of Congress that represent devastated areas of Texas and Florida.
The White House will seek $576.5 million for wildfire suppression funding while acknowledging the need for long-term reforms to wildfire funding and forest management policies. Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate were briefed on the spending plan, which includes Office of Management and Budget recommendations to fix “fire-borrowing” in the U.S. Forest Service.
The White House formally submitted the request on Wednesday, and lawmakers promised to act quickly on the President’s disaster aid proposal. House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-New Jersey) said in a statement “My committee has already begun to move on this emergency funding request, and will put legislation forward as soon as possible.” Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi) urged Congress to “act swiftly.” The emergency spending measures received praise from members of both parties; however, the Senate will be in recess next week and the House will take the following week off, delaying the likely approval until mid-October.