Congress to provide relief to #HurricaneHarvey victims – Texas rep

A Republican Texas lawmaker, Michael Burgess has predicted that starting from next week, Congress would deliver financial relief to the flood-ravaged areas of his state in three tranches.

When asked how Congress will respond to Hurricane Harvey, Burgess told CNN that, “There will be some immediate help that will likely come as early as early next week, and I… don’t think that will be a necessarily hard discussion or a hard vote”.

“After that first wave, clearly there will be data collected and there will be evidence presented, and as far as the cost of recovery, I think that will be better known in two and a half, three month’s time. I don’t know what the time sequence will be, but there will be a secondary wave of federal dollars that are appropriated, and likely as not, there will be a third wave,” he stressed.

Burgess stated his satisfaction and preference for this mode of aid provision as opposed to a single, large bill, passed by Congress to help people in New York and New Jersey after 2012’s Super-storm Sandy. When further pushed on why he declined support for Sandy aid in 2012 in which he voted ney, he said he was worried, and remains worried, that these bills are written in a way that ensures prompt delivery of aid.

In the case of Sandy and Hurricane Katrine, he said, millions of dollars were left unspent, which sometimes happened because local officials weren’t able to meet the strict conditions that the federal government put on the money”.

“I want to be certain that the help gets where it’s needed, when it’s needed, but yeah, we do have a responsibility to be good stewards of the taxpayer dollar, and that’s a concurrent responsibility,” he added.

Though, it is unclear and yet to be disclosed how much money it will cost Congress to help Houston and affected areas recover from Harvey, one House Democrat has said the final bill will surely exceed $100 billion, while another predicted $150 billion.

Recall that, Congress spent a total $120 billion to help victims of Hurricane katrina which struck New Orleans in 2005.

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