Lawmakers are pushing a $1 billion aid package for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the wake of the deadly Joplin, Mo., tornado — even as the agency is already stretched thin by other twisters and floods one week before hurricane season begins.
FEMA has already deployed more than 4,300 workers this year in response to dozens of federally declared disasters and has distributed about $149 million in aid. But it is carrying more than $17 billion in debt from storm-related aid in the past six years.
On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee approved $1 billion in additional disaster relief for FEMA as part of a measure funding the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal 2012. FEMA would use the money for the final four months of fiscal 2011.