Trump seeks tens of billions in disaster aid package for hurricane victims

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A $29 billion disaster aid package is currently being finalized by the Trump administration and will be sent to Congress on Wednesday, according to new reports, citing anonymous lawmakers who spoke on condition of anonymity “because the measure has not yet been made public.”

Apparently, Washington insiders are still spewing leaked information to the press.

The unnamed lawmaker told Bloomberg that out of the $29 billion, $16 billion would be used for loan forgiveness under the National Flood Insurance Program, while roughly $13 billion would go to federal disaster relief operations.

The funding is in response to the devastation in Puerto Rico after it was hit by Hurricane Maria, as well as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast. Western states hit by wildfires will see approximately $500 million more in funding, as well.

More than a dozen Republican House members, most of them from the hurricane-ravaged states of Florida and Texas, were briefed on the White House plan at the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

President Donald Trump visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday to meet with government officials and local residents.

The funding is desperately needed as the government-guaranteed flood insurance program is going to run out of money to pay claims during the week of Oct. 23. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, on the other hand, is continuing to rapidly shell out money for relief operations after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and will soon require a fresh infusion of cash.

And in the wake of a disastrous season of Western wildfires, federal firefighting accounts would receive $577 million of the $13 billion requested for FEMA .

“This is going to be extraordinarily expensive, and I think we need to get some money out there,” said the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.).

McCarthy told the southern-state lawmakers: “Remember, this is emergency money. You’ve got to deal with the problem. So, I think we’ll be able to get this done.”

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