New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to members of the media about recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31 in Long Beach, N.Y.
Whether Congress approves additional funding through a supplemental appropriations bill or an omnibus carrying the federal accounts through next Sept. 30, efforts to use a measure as a “Christmas tree” for spending earmarks could prove difficult because the August 2011 debt limit law (PL 112-25) limits discretionary defense and domestic spending to $1.047 trillion for the year. Congress could appropriate about $5 billion more for disaster funding under a disaster relief cap in the law.
The cap limits disaster funds to $11.8 billion in this fiscal year. Congress earlier this year appropriated $6.4 billion under the disaster cap, leaving up to $5.4 billion more that could be added. If even more funds were needed, the law allows Congress to appropriate them under an emergency designation.
In a letter last week to Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., 44 House members asked the leaders to support additional funding if needed.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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