Lawmakers question what FEMA should get to pay disaster needs

With federal emergency officials now saying they may need more than the $6.4 billion in disaster aid requested for fiscal 2012, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran chastised this and previous White House administrations for habitually underestimating the need.

The Mississippi Republican said the budgetary “underestimating syndrome” within White House administrations of both parties makes it more difficult for Congress, as well as the public, to grasp the magnitude of disaster response and recovery needs.

The Senate Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee on which Cochran served conducted a hearing Wednesday that featured testimony from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Army Corps of Engineers.

Clarion Ledger