Texas lawmaker: Harvey may have 'trillion-dollar impact'

A Texas lawmaker says the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey could have a “trillion-dollar impact” and the federal government will only cover a fraction of that cost.

"[I]t’s a trillion-dollar impact," Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) told Fox Business Network's "Varney & Co." on Thursday.

Sessions said the government could offer an $80 billion aid package, but he suggested that would not cover all recovery costs.


"And remember, a thousand billions is a trillion. The Federal Government may pay $80 billion, you’ve got $920 billion that will be paid by people out of their own pocket, by insurance, by business, to put this place back together. It is a massive undertake,” he said.

Sessions added that he hoped Congress would act quickly to address the emergency.

His office said Sessions based his estimate on every potential factor that could go into the recovery, and on his personal observations and talks with officials.

Sessions' sprojected impact cost is far greater than other estimates. In a preliminary prediction, private weather firm AccuWeather said the cost of Harvey could be as much as $190 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster to ever hit the U.S., according to CNBC.

Hurricane Katrina, which hit the southeast U.S. in 2005, is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history at an estimated cost of $160 billion, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. 

President Trump also said Tuesday that it would be the costliest natural disaster the U.S. has ever faced.

"Probably there has never been anything so expensive in our country's history, we've never done anything so historic in terms of damage and in terms of ferocity as what we've witnessed with Harvey," Trump said during a meeting with Texas officials.

Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, has displaced thousands of people from flooding in Houston and other communities in southeast Texas.

Lawmakers are expected to take up Harvey relief when they return in September from a monthlong recess.

Harvey assistance could also move up the debt ceiling deadline, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPolicy expert: Erdoğan wants to ramp up anti-American sentiment to distract Turkish public Harriet Tubman on the bill would be smart for the president, his party and the nation Turkish president blasts ‘economic coup’ amid heightened tensions with US MORE said Thursday during an interview with CNBC.

This story was updated at 3:11 p.m.