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White House submits disaster request, including $500 million to avoid potential aid cutoff
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The White House has asked Congress for $500 million in immediate disaster aid to avoid a cut-off of help for victims of Hurricane Irene and other disasters.
The money is part of a total request of $5.1 billion to refill the disaster relief fund of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been allowed to become so depleted that the administration has been forced to put rebuilding projects on hold in order to direct aid to victims of Irene.
But the flooding and other damage wrought by Irene and Tropical Storm Lee is tapping out the fund, and White House budget director Jacob Lew says the $500 million is needed to address the possibility that disaster funds might run out before the budget year ends on Sept. 30.