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Posted at 10:16 PM ET, 08/29/2011

After Irene, FEMA facing a disaster of its own — funding


President Obama praised Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, center, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, right, and the federal government’s response to Hurricane Irene on Sunday. (Mannie Garcia - VIA BLOOMBERG)
Now that the big hurricane is behind us — three days for Irene and six years for Katrina — the Federal Emergency Management Agency is running out of money and finds itself operating in a new political and fiscal climate that may be as treacherous as some of the disasters to which it must respond.

In the next few weeks, the agency faces the prospect of trying to respond to disasters in several states without enough funding because a newly cost-conscious Congress is reluctant to spend money on anything — including disasters — without offsetting it with cuts elsewhere.

Republicans, who control the House and have driven hard bargains on spending cuts all year, have insisted that there will be enough money for disaster relief. But they also pledged that additional spending will mean cuts in other areas.

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By and  |  10:16 PM ET, 08/29/2011

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