Shaun Donovan, who is leading the administration’s response to Superstorm Sandy, said the White House does not yet have a specific dollar amount for its emergency budget request.
“I’m not sure where those reports are coming from,” Donovan said, responding to a question about a New York Times report that the Obama administration will request between $45 billion and $55 billion.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey asked Donovan about the figure during in a Senate hearing this morning on the federal response to Superstorm Sandy.
Donovan noted that some of the costs are being covered by federal funding already in the FEMA budget while other costs will be covered by private insurance.
“What the governors gave us is not that Congress has to pass $82 billion,” Donovan said, referring to the requests by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate pointed out that aid for Hurricane Katrina victims still is being funded. That storm occurred in 2005.