White House Defends Trump's Proposal to Cut Disaster Relief Budget

Posted September 06, 2017

The emergency funding request is expected to come as soon as Friday.

It's not yet known how much money the administration will ask for in the initial request, but congressional aides expect at least enough money to carry out relief efforts through the end of the budget year on Sept 30.

The relief package, about $2 billion more than the White House projected Thursday, is only the first installment of what will be much more federal aid for the region hit by massive floods.

US President Donald Trump is expected to propose an initial $5.9 billion.

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A senior House Republican, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deliberations were private, disclosed the approach. The official was not authorized to release the information publicly before a final decision is made and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House has offered several different timelines for the announcement.

House GOP leaders have signaled they are aiming to act fast on Harvey aid and a vote is likely next week.

Trump promised swift action to approve disaster relief funding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

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"I just don't think a shutdown is in anyone's interest or needed for anyone's interests", House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in an interview Friday with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders this week defended President Donald Trump's false claim that he had visited Hurricane Harvey disaster areas and had seen the devastation "firsthand".

Mr Sanders said Mr Trump wanted suggestions from the White House press corps about how to spend the money.

The Trump administration is to make a request to the US Congress for funds to help recovery efforts from Storm Harvey, which has caused devastating flooding in Texas and Louisiana.

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"He met with a number of state and local officials who are eating, sleeping, breathing the Harvey disaster", she said in defense of the president.