White House Asks for over $14bn in Emergency Harvey Aid

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 Hill reports.

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.

According to a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, however, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney 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 Hill adds.

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

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