Washington D.C. — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $615 million to help fight wildfires as the summer sparks many fires across the US.
The White House issued a letter today in regards to Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, which includes designating money for wildfires, but mostly addresses the increase in child and adult migration. The request is for $3.7 billion, proposed to “comprehensively address this urgent humanitarian situation” of Central American children and adults who cross the southern border illegally.
According to the White House letter the request for $615 million would go toward treating wildfires “in the same way as we fund other natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes.” The wildfire funding would be given to the Department of Agriculture and the plan designates a new spending cap. The money would provide separate funding for wildfire suppression and rehabilitation activities after a fire to prevent the use of money set aside to prevent and reduce the extent of wildfires.
President Obama says, “This approach would provide funding certainty in future years for firefighting costs, free up resources to invest in areas that will promote long-term forest health and reduce fire risk, and maintain fiscal responsibility by addressing wildfire disaster needs through agreed-upon funding mechanisms.”