Texas Delegation Requests $19B in Additional Harvey Aid

By ANDREW TAYLOR | October 9, 2017

The Texas congressional delegation asked Thursday for $19 billion to help the Lone Star State recover from Harvey, with both Republicans and Democrats teaming up behind a request to repair water projects and help homeowners and communities rebuild from the storm.

The bipartisan request comes on top of President Donald Trump’s Wednesday request for $29 billion for in hurricane aid, pairing $13 billion for emergency hurricane response with a $16 billion cash infusion for the financially troubled federal flood insurance program. It was delivered in a letter to the House and Senate appropriations committees.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the House will vote on Trump’s request next week. It’s unclear whether the powerful Texans will succeed in getting some or all of the additional money. Texas Republicans voted almost unanimously against legislation in 2013 that delivered comparable help to New York and New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy.

The Texas request combines $10 billion for repairs to Army Corps of Engineers projects, dredge navigation channels, and complete existing projects. Another $7 billion is requested for community development block grants that would help rebuild communities and individuals without flood insurance repair or replace their homes, among other purposes. They said that Texas alone will require $40 billion in such grants.

Repairs to transportation infrastructure and disaster loans for small businesses make up the rest of the request.

“In light of the unprecedented damage from Hurricane Harvey and the historically epochal flooding of Houston, Beaumont and surrounding regions, we all recognize that the funding already appropriated is a small fraction of the federal resources needed to help rebuild Texas and reinvigorate the American economy,” the delegation letter said.

Congress last month approved a $15 billion first installment for hurricane relief.

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