(Jefferson City, MO) -- Sen. Roy Blunt told Missouri reporters Thursday he supports a deal on funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The U.S. Senate voted that same day to increase emergency disaster funding in FEMA's budget by $7 billion.
Blunt says the Senate package will help the agency with its emergency funding crisis and get long-term projects back on course.
FEMA spokesmen have said the agency will run out of money in its emergency response fund within the next two weeks. Blunt says the $7 billion should get the agency through the end of November.
Late last month, the agency announced it was suspending all long term recovery projects as it dealt with emergency needs in the days that followed Hurricane Irene on the east coast. Blunt and Sen. Claire McCaskill both expressed optimism that funding would be available for Joplin relief when it became necessary.
The senate figure of $7 billion and a House version that sets aside $1 billion have set off a sharp debate on Capitol Hill.
Blunt said he wasn't interested in political gamesmanship and that the $7 billion figure was reasonable.
"I think the amounts of money the bill is talking about are clearly the kinds of dollars that are going to be required for FEMA to meet its obligations, and just as important for the state of Missouri, for the Corps of Engineers to meet their obligations for flood control and river management," Blunt told reporters.
(Dick Aldrich, Missouri News Horizon)