FEMA's Disaster Aid Account Short on Cash

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's main disaster aid account is
running woefully short of money as the Obama administration
confronts damages from Hurricane Irene that could run into billions
of dollars.
      With less than $800 million in Federal Emergency Management
Agency disaster aid coffers, the agency has been forced to freeze
rebuilding projects from earlier disasters dating back to Hurricane
Katrina to hold onto money for emergency needs in the wake of
      The shortfalls in FEMA's disaster aid account have been obvious
to lawmakers on Capitol Hill for months - and privately
acknowledged to them by FEMA - but the White House has declined to
ask for more money.
      FEMA now admits the disaster aid shortfall could approach $5
billion for the upcoming budget year, and that's before accounting
for Irene.