President Donald Trump has sent lawmakers a $7.9 billion request for an initial down payment for Harvey relief and recovery efforts.
This comes a day before the president returns to the Gulf coast region on Saturday. The White House said he's tentatively planning to speak in Houston and Lake Charles, La.
The request, expected to be swiftly approved by Congress, would add $7.4 billion to rapidly dwindling Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster aid coffers and $450 million to finance disaster loans for small businesses.
The initial Harvey package is just the first installment for immediate disaster response like housing assistance, cleanup and FEMA-financed home repairs. The White House says more than 436,000 households have registered for FEMA aid.
The request also reiterates the need for Congress to increase the government's $19.9 trillion borrowing limit by the end of this month. Republicans are signaling that they may link the unpopular debt limit increase to Harvey relief.
© 2017 Associated Press