Obama Requests $5.2B More for Disaster Relief

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The White House is asking Congress for an additional $5.2 billion for disaster relief.

The amount would only cover natural disasters prior to Hurricane Irene, for which damages are expected to cost at least $2 billion.

"There is no question... that additional funds will be required to assist the thousands of Americans affected by Hurricane Irene, on top of the $5.2 billion identified under current law to properly fund known disaster needs for fiscal year 2012," White House Budget Director Jacob Lew said in a letter sent to top lawmakers Thursday.

Currently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has less than $800 million at its disposal.

The agency's disaster fund is so depleted that rebuilding projects to assist the victims of Irene have been placed on hold.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said additional funding should come from cutting spending somewhere else in the budget.

But the Obama administration said Congress can authorize more than $11 billion in disaster money without making cuts.

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