White House to request $29 billion aid for hurricane relief to US Congress

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New Delhi | Published: October 4, 2017 6:19:47 AM

The White House is preparing a $29 billion disaster aid request to send to the US Congress after hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida.

White House, US, Hurricane, US CongressThe White House wants Congress to forgive billion of the debt that the National Flood Insurance Programme.

The White House is preparing a $29 billion disaster aid request to send to the US Congress after hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, a White House official said on Tuesday. Request is expected to come on Wednesday. It will combine nearly $13 billion in new relief for hurricane victims with $16 billion for the government-backed flood insurance program, the White House official told Reuters.

The White House wants Congress to forgive $16 billion of the debt that the National Flood Insurance Programme, which insures about 5 million homes and businesses, has racked up.

The request comes as the program is close to running out of money, congressional aides said. The program had racked up nearly $25 billion in debt before this season’s major hurricanes.

The Trump administration is also proposing more than a dozen reforms including new means testing and an extreme-loss repetition provision, aides said. Some homes insured under the program have gotten payments repeatedly from the program after multiple storms.

The flood insurance money is aimed primarily for areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which struck Texas and Florida, aides said.

Congressional aides say the National Flood Insurance Program is expected to run out of money the week of October 23.

The $12.77 billion in hurricane aid is expected to last through the end of the calendar year, administration officials said. They said earlier this week the government had about $10 billion on hand for disaster relief.

The Trump administration is also seeking $576.5 million for wildfire suppression funding. Aides said the administration will acknowledge the need for a long-term fire borrowing fix and forestry management reforms, congressional aides said.

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