Biden escalates shutdown stare-down with hurricane aid, Afghan resettlement plea

President Joe Biden’s budget office is calling for more than $ 14 billion to meet disaster relief needs prior to Hurricane Ida, which just devastated the Louisiana coast and caused massive flooding throughout the northeast. Administrative officials believe that Ida alone needs at least $ 10 billion in disaster funding for a variety of programs, so it is up to lawmakers to fully assess the needs. The White House is also calling for $ 6.4 billion in funding for the Pentagon, State Department and Department of Health to help Afghan allies and partners settle in the United States and eventually gain citizenship.

Top Democrats have yet to decide when the stopgap bill will expire – a date that could spark another major fiscal stalemate – and Biden government officials declined to give a preferred date. A government official also said the White House believes Congress will “act quickly” to tackle the debt ceiling, as lawmakers did during the Trump administration, despite snubs from top Republicans amid massive Democratic spending ambitions.

The Democrats decided to forego language in their $ 3.5 trillion welfare package to raise that limit, with the Treasury Department expected to run out of money later this fall.

Administrative officials prepare a list of funding requests for lawmakers called anomalies. That list also includes funds to help the Bureau of Reclamation respond to drought, as well as funds to strengthen the capacity of the national lifeline for suicide prevention, administration officials said.

Hurricane relief, in particular, is an overture for Louisiana Republicans like Sens. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), And Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Who have called for a major infusion from community development funds to help the state after suffering six storms last year. The government’s appeal for additional money also comes after Biden approved an accelerated disaster declaration from New York Governor Kathy Hochul, in which the state grappled with damage and flooding from Hurricane Ida.

“A short-term one [continuing resolution] is necessary not only to give Congress extra time to approve year-round budget bills that make bold, forward-looking investments in our future, but also to address the specific, urgent needs of our country right now, ”the incumbent wrote OMB director Shalanda Young in a blog post on Tuesday.

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