House set to pass $36.5B for hurricane, wildfire relief

A satellite image from Monday Sept. 18, 2017, shows Hurricane Maria spinning toward the Caribbean. (Photo Credit: NOAA)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House is on track to deliver a sweeping bipartisan vote for President Donald Trump’s request for additional disaster aid, $16 billion to pay flood insurance claims, and emergency funding to help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico stay afloat.

Thursday’s hurricane aid package totals $36.5 billion and follows a $15.3 billion measure that passed last month. The measure sticks close to the White House request, ignoring – for now – huge demands from the powerful Florida and Texas delegations, who together pressed for some $40 billion more.

Several lawmakers from hurricane-hit states said a third interim aid request is anticipated shortly – with a final, huge hurricane recovering and rebuilding package likely to be acted upon by the end of the year.

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