THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CALLS FOR ADDITIONAL EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUNDS
In response to higher estimates of disaster-related needs, the Clinton Administration today increased by $2.016 billion the relief funds it is requesting from the Congress for areas affected by the southern California earthquake.
In a letter to the Congress, the President increased from $6.609 billion to $8.625 billion the amount of loans and grants he is proposing in emergency supplemental legislation to aid families, businesses, and communities that have suffered earthquake damage.
Combined with $897 million in existing contingency funds already released by the President, this brings to $9.522 billion the amount of resources either committed to or proposed for the earthquake area.
Office of Management and Budget Director Leon E. Panetta noted that the initial requests for emergency funds had been based on very rough and preliminary estimates. Additional needs have now been identified as the demand for Federal assistance has surpassed original estimates, he said.
The additional supplementals now requested would provide the following: * An additional $1.225 billion is requested for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief program. This would bring the total amount requested for this program to $4.709 billion. Most of the additional funds are for emergency assistance for individuals. * The original request for the Small Business Administration's disaster loan program is now revised upward by $550 million in loan authority. The revised request would support $1.109 billion in disaster loans. The original request would have supported $559 million in loans. Another $20 million is requested to cover administrative costs. * An additional $75 million is requested for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for rental assistance for low-income households and for the modernization of existing public housing projects, several of which were seriously damaged by the earthquake. This increases the total amount requested for these purposes to $225 million. * Additional appropriations language is requested for HUD's flexible subsidy fund to enable the Secretary to waive statutory requirements. Exceptions to the waiver request include fair housing and nondiscrimination requirements, and labor and environmental standards. * $45.6 million in emergency funding is requested for the Department of Veterans Affairs to repair buildings at its Sepulveda, California, medical center and to repair its West Los Angeles hospital. * The $400 million requested as contingency funds to be allocated by the President as unanticipated needs arise is increased by $100 million, to $500 million. * Language in the January 26 transmittal for the Federal-aid highway rogram in the Department of Transportation is revised to delete the waiver of environmental regulations and statutes. Upon further review, the Department believes that current regulations and statutes are sufficiently flexible. Other emergency Fiscal Year 1994 appropriations requests, which
are to be included in the Fiscal Year 1995 budget, were also included in the package, at the request of the House Appropriations Committee, in order to ensure their consideration at an appropriate time:
In addition, the Administration request contains a supplemental language request for the Department of Health and Human Services' low income home energy assistance program. The proposal would permit the Secretary to target $100 million of existing emergency contingency funds to those states experiencing severe winter weather. # # #