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The White House Requests A Hurricane Relief Package That’s Far Lower Than Officials Hoped To Receive

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Following an unusually active and severe hurricane season, Texas and Puerto Rico — who were slammed by hurricanes Harvey and Maria, respectively — won’t receive as much relief as they need to properly recover. Due to the immense recovery efforts to counter catastrophic flooding in Houston and along the Gulf Coast, Governor Greg Abbott has requested $61 billion in additional aid. Likewise, Puerto Rican officials have made no secret of their need for relief in the wake of utter devastation throughout the U.S. territory, and Governor Ricardo Rossello requested $94 billion more in funding.

Despite pleas by these Texas and Puerto Rican officials, the Houston Chronicle now reports that the Trump administration has delivered to Congress a far lower request than anticipated:

Trump administration officials said Friday the White House is sending a $44 billion emergency recovery request for states and territories affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria that will be sent to Congress.

White House officials said however that they plan to make additional aid proposals in the coming months as full cost estimates come in.

It gets worse. The New York Daily news reports that the Florida Congressional Delegation also requested an additional $27 billion for this season’s hurricane damage, and no one’s quite sure how $44 billion can be stretched to cover the nearly $200 billion in additional relief requested by the two states and one territory. There’s a possibility that Congress could increase the amount, but whatever they end up doing, lawmakers will have to do so by December 8, which will signal the looming danger of a government shutdown.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s electricity woes continue, and Congress appears fixated upon the GOP’s tax plans in an effort to pass some major legislation before this session’s closing time.

(Via Houston Chronicle)

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