Washington: The White House has sought a whopping $14 billion for the Hurricane Harvey relief work in the aftermath of the trail of devastation left by the most destructive storms in American history that claimed at least 50 lives.
In a letter to Congress, the White House requested an initial $7.9 billion down payment toward Harvey relief and recovery efforts that will be quickly followed by a request for another $6.7 billion.
"Prolonged high winds, storm surges, and torrential rains have contributed to unprecedented and widespread flooding that has upended the lives of residents and damaged more than 1,00,000 homes," the White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney said in his letter.
More than 43,500 people are in shelters and more than 4,36,000 households have registered for support for temporary rental assistance, hotel/motel costs, and essential home repairs to help restore their lives to normal as quickly as possible.
Mulvaney said these additional Federal resources would enable the affected states to address disaster response and immediate recovery needs in the areas most affected by the hurricane.
"These funds would be used to continue life-saving response and recovery missions; begin to address housing repair costs unmet by insurance; and provide low-interest loans to businesses and homeowners."
"Because the need for this funding arises from an unforeseen, unanticipated event resulting in the loss of life and property, these resources should be provided as emergency funding," he wrote.
Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation declaring this Sunday a National Day of Prayer for those affected by the hurricane.
He also heard from the heads of the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief on their efforts throughout the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders said.
Trump will be back in Texas on Sunday to visit storm survivors and tell them personally that the federal government will back them in any way that it can, Sanders said.
Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Thad Cochran said his committee is prepared to do its part to make resources available to those affected by Hurricane Harvey through the Disaster Relief Fund and other federal channels.
"These actions will support the commendable efforts of first responders, relief workers and volunteers. The Senate Appropriations Committee will move swiftly to consider requests for relief funding as it receives them," he said.
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Updated Date: Sep 02, 2017 13:57:49 IST