WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is telling Congress that there's a need for more than $5 billion in additional disaster relief.
And that's not even counting billions of dollars more that'll probably be needed to help states hit by Hurricane Irene.
The administration also says that under the terms of last month's budget deal, Congress can provide more than $11 billion in disaster aid next year without finding offsetting budget cuts as demanded by some Republicans. The budget pact contains a little-noticed provision providing the flexibility in disaster spending.
Many lawmakers were unaware of the disaster aid provision when voting for the budget pact last month. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said additional disaster funding should be paid for by cutting spending elsewhere in the budget.