WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama asked Congress on Wednesday to approve the funding of the post-quake US relief effort in Haiti, swelling America's growing budget deficit by an additional 2.8 billion dollars.
"This request responds to urgent and essential needs. Therefore, I request these proposals be considered as emergency requirements," Obama wrote in a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The United States spearheaded the massive international relief effort after the January 12 earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people and left 1.3 million Haitians homeless.
A New York donors conference next week is expected to commit 11.5 billion dollars to help Haiti rebuild following the unprecedented disaster that caused 7.9 billion dollars of damage, equivalent to 120 percent of the country's GDP.
In September 2009, the United States concluded an agreement with Haiti that eliminated 100 percent of the Haitian government?s outstanding debt to the US.
The US government registered a record budget deficit in February of 220.909 billion dollars despite rising revenues, setting a record 17th consecutive month in the red.
Spending surged notably because of tax credits to individuals and businesses, part of a three-year budget stimulus plan launched in February 2009.
© AFP 2013