Oct 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden requests $56B from Congress for domestic needs like disaster relief

President Biden at the White House on Oct. 25 in Washington, DC. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden requested nearly $56 billion from Congress on Wednesday for "critical domestic priorities," including disaster relief and child care.

The big picture: The move comes after the administration asked Congress last week for $106 billion in emergency funding for aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Driving the news: The largest portion of the requested aid package allocates $23.5 billion for disaster relief, including to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency's ongoing natural disaster response efforts in California, Florida, Hawaii and elsewhere.

  • The administration said it needs the funding to "meet our commitment to communities facing flooding, extreme heat, catastrophic wildfires, drought, and other severe weather events over the past year."

Of note: Biden on Wednesday increased federal funding for Florida's disaster relief from Hurricane Ian, which killed over 100 people and caused billions of dollars in damage to property after making landfall in the state last year as a high-end Category 4 storm.

By the numbers: Another $16 billion would go toward allowing an additional year of child care stabilization funding, intended to help keep child care providers afloat.

  • $6 billion is designated to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program through 2024 for free and discounted high-speed internet for qualified households.
  • The request also includes smaller allocations, like $1.55 billion for the federal response for combatting fentanyl, $1 billion for food assistance and $220 million to prevent pay cuts for federal wildland firefighters.

What they're saying: "President Biden is sending an urgent budget request to Congress to advance critical domestic priorities so we can continue to meet the needs of the American people, support our communities, and protect our nation and its interests," the White House said.

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