CHICAGO (WBBM) — Disaster relief aid for those impacted by Hurricane Irene and other spring and summer storms may be the next big budget battle in Congress.

A clause in the debt ceiling compromise specifically exempts FEMA disaster aid and authorizes Congress to approve several billion dollars in additional aid without corresponding cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.

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Despite that, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and other top House Republicans say they will find additional cuts and will insist on agreement.

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“We’re out of money, all of us,” said Roskam, who is deputy House majority whip. “If we’re going to do things like thoughtfully caring for people who have been impacted by a disaster, we need to recognize that there’s a cost to that.”

Roskam said federal borrowing remains out of control.

“It’s nothing that anyone would choose to do. It’s always easier to write a check to sort of make a problem go away and not ever have to make it reconcile,” Roskam said. “But those days are gone. The S&P (Standard & Poor’s) has driven this conversation with the downgrade (on the U.S. government bond rating to AA+).”

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FEMA officials have said that they have less than $800 million in the agency budget for disaster relief, and could need $5 billion or more in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.