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White House preparing $5.9B request for Harvey recovery aid

White House preparing $5.9B request for Harvey recovery aid

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief fund had only $US3.3 billion when the storm struck.

The Trump proposal, which is being finalized pending White House consultations with key Republicans, is likely to be just a fraction of an eventual Harvey recovery package that could rival the $100-billion-plus in taxpayer-financed help for victims of 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

Representative Mark Meadows, the Republican chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told the Washington Post that attaching Harvey aid to a debt-ceiling increase would be a "terrible idea. conflating two very different issues".

Harvey made landfall Friday night and has since broken the USA record for rainfall from a single storm, CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said - with some areas of the state seeing nearly 52 inches of rain.

A senior congressional aide said Friday the request would include $5.5 billion for the disaster relief fund and $450 million for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program.

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The president is returning to Texas on Saturday to survey flood damage and is also expected to travel to Louisiana to review recovery efforts from the storm. The official was not authorized to release the information publicly before a final decision is made and spoke on condition of anonymity. He later corrected the spelling of "healing".

Trump has proposed federal hiring and budget plans that raise questions about his promised recovery effort.

The headgear, which might not have made such headlines in other circumstances, is being called out as Donald Trump trying to capitalize on the travesty caused by Hurricane Harvey by wearing a hat that he sells on his own website for $40.

Trump travelled to Texas on Tuesday for a first-hand assessment of the situation on the ground. His administration is preparing a $5.9 billion emergency request to replenish FEMA's rapidly draining disaster reserves. In January of 2016, then-candidate Trump pledged to give $1 million to veterans charities, but it wasn't until reporters pressed him months later that most of the money was doled out.


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