The Obama administration says it supports changing the federal law governing disaster aid to let tribal governments apply directly to the White House for help.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which announced the administration's stance Wednesday, says right now only governors can ask for a disaster declaration, which brings with it access to federal money to help a region recover from a disaster.

Rep. Nick J. Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat, introduced a bill earlier this year to let Native American tribal governments apply directly for access to disaster aid. The bill has been referred to a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee.