House to vote on $7.9B Harvey relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House is swiftly moving to pass President Donald Trump's request for a $7.9 billion first installment of relief for victims of Harvey.

GOP leaders also hope to use the urgent Harvey aid bill to solve a far more vexing issue: Increasing the U.S. debt limit to permit the government to borrow freely again to cover its bills.

Wednesday morning's vote comes as the government's response to Harvey is draining existing disaster reserves, with Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster accounts hovering at $1 billion or less. FEMA is warning lawmakers disaster funds run out on Friday, even as a much more powerful hurricane, Irma, is bearing down.

This week's measure is to handle the immediate emergency needs and replenish reserves in advance of Irma. Much more will be needed.

© 2017 Associated Press


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