Assistance after Hurricanes and Other Disasters: FY2004 and FY2005 Supplemental Appropriations [Updated October 22, 2004] [open pdf - 89KB]
"After a series of devastating hurricanes struck Florida and other states in the summer of 2004, the 108th Congress passed two emergency supplemental appropriations statutes that provide a total of $16.475 billion to areas stricken by the hurricanes and other natural disasters. The House and Senate quickly approved legislation (H.R. 5005) the day after President Bush submitted a request on September 6 for $2 billion in FY2004 funding, largely in response to the devastation caused by Hurricanes Charley and Frances in Florida. The President signed the bill into law (P.L. 108-303) on September 7. All of the $2 billion was for assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)... While few debated the need for federal disaster assistance, considerable discussion occurred on the scope of the legislation. Members representing midwestern and western states contended that the continuing drought affecting their farming constituents constituted a disaster that required aid beyond that previously provided. The Administration did not request agricultural aid to producers in states not affected by the hurricanes. The other issue that was a matter of public debate focused on a proposed amendment in the House to fully offset the cost of the FY2005 supplemental through a proportional reduction in discretionary funds; the House rejected the amendment."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32581