President Trump is expected to ask Congress as early as Friday for $5.95 billion in initial emergency aid to deal with the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, with $5.5 billion going to the depleted FEMA-administered Disaster Relief Fund and another $450 million to the Small Business Administration's Disaster Loan Program. "No final decisions about the funding amount have been made, and conversations remained fluid Thursday evening," The Washington Post reports, though Axios says White House budget director Mick Mulvaney is trying to drum up support in Congress.
Harvey is presumed to be one of the most costly natural disasters in U.S. history. As of Thursday morning, more than 311,000 Texans had applied for federal disaster relief, and at least $530 million has been approved, according to Vice President Mike Pence. The White House says some 100,000 houses were destroyed by Harvey. The Trump administration and Congress have not decided whether to push for the funding separately or attach it to must-pass legislation like raising the debt ceiling.