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Texas Delegation Requests $19 Billion in Additional Harvey Aid

  • Associated Press

FILE - Darius Moses works removing water from the gymnasium at C.E. King High School following the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, Sept. 8, 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 request Wednesday for $29 billion for 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.

FILE - A military vehicle passes flood-damaged belongings piled on a homeowners' front lawn in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey at the Canyon Gate community in Katy, Texas, Sept. 7, 2017.
FILE - A military vehicle passes flood-damaged belongings piled on a homeowners' front lawn in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey at the Canyon Gate community in Katy, Texas, Sept. 7, 2017.

The Texas request combines $10 billion for repairs to Army Corps of Engineers projects, to dredge navigation channels, and to complete existing projects. Another $7 billion is requested for community development block grants that would help rebuild communities and aid individuals without flood insurance in repairing or replacing 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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