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The White House wants $44 billion in emergency funding. Here's what that covers

The White House has asked Congress for $44 billion in emergency funding to help cover costs of the war in Ukraine, recent natural disasters, and operations at the southern U.S. border.
Patrick Semansky
The White House has asked Congress for $44 billion in emergency funding to help cover costs of the war in Ukraine, recent natural disasters, and operations at the southern U.S. border.

Updated September 22, 2023 at 10:19 AM ET

Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to agree on a short-term funding bill that would avert a government shutdown.

The White House has asked that $44 billion in extra emergency spending be tacked on to that bill. But it's caught up in a debate among House Republicans about how much money the federal government should be spending.

It's far from a sure bet that the White House will get everything it is asking for. Last year, repeated requests for extra funding for the COVID pandemic went unfulfilled.

Here's how this year's request breaks down.

Ukraine: $24 billion

This request faces resistance from some Republicans, though the White House has said it's confident that there ultimately will be enough votes to help support Ukraine in its efforts to push back Russia's invasion.


Federal Emergency Management Agency: $16 billion

The White House initially asked for $12 billion to replenish FEMA's depleted Disaster Relief Fund. But by the end of August — after wildfires on Maui and in Louisiana, flooding in Vermont, and a major hurricane in Florida — that was deemed insufficient. The new ask: $16 billion dollars.

Border security: $4 billion

The administration is looking for extra money for several departments to help deal with fentanyl trafficking and provide help to migrants at the southern U.S. border. This total includes:

  • $2.2 billion for Homeland Security for border management, shelter and services for migrants
  • $416 million for Homeland Security to counter fentanyl trafficking
  • $800 million for the State Department for migration needs
  • $350 million for Health and Human Services for prevention, treatment and recovery services for fentanyl

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.

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