White House asking for more than $14B in Harvey aid

White House asking for more than $14B in Harvey aid
© Getty

The White House on Friday requested an initial $7.85 billion in emergency relief funding from Congress followed by a request for another $6.7 billion as the Trump administration races to respond to the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.

The request was more than previously anticipated. The Hill reported earlier Friday that the president was expected to ask for $5.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund and another $450 billion for a Small Business Administration (SBA) program.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to a letter to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanEx-White House spokesman Raj Shah joins Fox Corporation as senior vice president Trump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud MORE (R-Wis.), however, White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says Democrats shouldn't use debt ceiling as leverage MORE is requesting $7.4 billion for the relief fund, though the administration is seeking the expected $450 billion for the SBA.

The letter asks that an additional $6.7 billion be made available in a stopgap spending measure that Congress must pass by the end of September to keep the government running. In all, the White House is asking for more than $14 billion as a down payment for recovery efforts in the Gulf.

The money requested by the White House on Friday marks only a fraction of what relief efforts in Texas and Louisiana will eventually cost.

Congress is already facing a jam-packed legislative agenda this month. Lawmakers are under pressure to raise the debt ceiling by Sept. 29 and must also strike a spending deal to fund the government past the end of the month.

Trump is set to visit Texas for the second time in less than a week on Saturday to survey the damage from the storm, which left at least 46 people dead and caused billions of dollars in damage. He will also visit Louisiana.

He met with local and state officials in the Corpus Christi area on Tuesday, as the storm moved north, hitting the Houston area with a torrent of rain and historic floodwaters.

Updated: 10:23 p.m.