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Monday, December 10, 2012

Why does Homeland Security get so much?? - Obama's Hurricane Sandy Disaster Aid Request 12/10/12

RSC Summary: The President's Hurricane Sandy Disaster Aid Request

December 10, 2012


Overview: On Friday, December 7, 2012, the Obama administration transmitted a disaster aid request to Congress to fund response, recovery, and mitigation efforts related to Hurricane Sandy.  The request totals $60.4 billion, including $12.97 billion in mitigation projects to "reduce the risk from future disasters."  The administration has proposed no offset for this new federal spending. 


By the Numbers:

President's Aid Request

$60.4 billion

Proposed Offsets

$0.0 billion


Special Note on Disaster Funding Accounting: The Budget Control Act of 2011 established annual caps on discretionary spending for Fiscal Years 2012 – 2021 ($1.047 billion in FY 2013).   It also provided for two types of spending that may exceed that cap: emergency spending and disaster relief spending.  Emergency spending is defined as "sudden, urgent, unforeseen, and temporary and is for the prevention or mitigation of, or response to, loss of life or property."  Disaster relief spending is funding provided pursuant to a major disaster declaration by the President under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act).  Spending designated by the President and Congress in statute as emergency spending is not subject to the caps provided for in the Budget Control Act (BCA).  Spending on disaster relief is also not subject to those caps, but is subject to a separate annual cap set by formula established in the BCA. 


The annual disaster relief cap is the average of the previous ten years spending on disaster relief, excluding the highest and lowest spending years.  In FY 2012, the cap was $11.3 billion, and for FY 2013, the cap is $11.8 billion.  To-date, $5.4 billion of the FY 2013 cap remains unappropriated, as $6.4 billion of the disaster relief spending cap was previously appropriated under the Continuing Appropriation Resolution of 2013.  The President's request therefore designates $5.4 billion of the request's $60.4 billion as disaster relief spending, reaching the BCA's cap, and designates the remaining $55 billion in spending as emergency spending.  It is the administration's belief that such emergency spending "can and should be provided without offset."


Spending Designations of the $60.4 Billion Request

Disaster Relief Spending

$5.4 billion (Reaches FY 2013 BCA Cap)

Emergency Spending

$55 billion


Detailed Summary: A table outlining the administration's request by agencies and departments is below.  The RSC will be releasing a policy brief soon with a more detailed summary of the individual line items in the request, highlighting items that may be of note to RSC Members. 


Disaster Relief Requests by Agency or Department

Spending (in millions)

Department of Agriculture

$                               78.40

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

$                               33.00

Department of Defense

$                             113.59

Department of Health and Human Services

$                             800.00

Department of Homeland Security

$                       21,784.91

Department of Housing and Urban Development

$                       15,000.00

Department of the Interior

$                             429.00

Department of Justice

$                               15.25

Department of Labor

$                               50.00

Department of Transportation

$                         6,570.00

Department of Veterans Affairs

$                             235.63

Corps of Engineers -- Civil Works

$                         1,500.00

Environmental Protection Agency

$                                  7.73

General Services Administration

$                                  7.00

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

$                                  4.00

Small Business Administration

$                             805.00

Social Security Administration

$                                  2.00

Legal Services Corporation

$                                  1.00

Smithsonian Institution

$                                  2.00

Total (Disaster Relief)

$                       47,438.51

Mitigation Project Requests by Agency or Department

Spending (in millions)

Department of Agriculture

$                             150.00

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

$                             460.00

Department of Housing and Urban Development

$                         2,000.00

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

$                             400.00

Department of Transportation

$                         5,500.00

Corps of Engineers -- Civil Works

$                         3,850.00

Environmental Protection Agency

$                             610.00

Total (Mitigation Projects)

$                       12,970.00

Grand Total

$                       60,408.51



FROM: Cyrus Artz

Professional Policy Staff
U.S. House Republican Study Committee
Office of Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman
(202) 226-9719


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