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Trump administration asks Congress for $29 billion in hurricane relief


People walk accros a flooded street in Juana Matos, Puerto Rico, on September 21, 2017 as the country faced dangerous flooding and an island-wide power outage following Hurricane Maria.

Hector Retamal | AFP | Getty Images

People walk accros a flooded street in Juana Matos, Puerto Rico, on September 21, 2017 as the country faced dangerous flooding and an island-wide power outage following Hurricane Maria.

The White House has asked Congress for $29 billion in disaster aid to cover ongoing hurricane relief and recovery efforts and to pay federal flood insurance claims.

The request comes as the government is spending almost $200 million a day for emergency hurricane response and faces a surge in flood claims for federally insured homes and businesses slammed by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

The proposal would provide $16 billion to pay those flood claims.

Another $13 billion is being requested for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Federal firefighting accounts would receive $577 million as well after a disastrous season of Western wildfires.

Congress last month approved a $15.3 billion aid package that combined community development block grant rebuilding funds with emergency money for cleanup, repair and housing.

The government-guaranteed flood insurance program is on track to run out of money to pay claims during the week of Oct. 23. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is continuing to spend money for relief operations for hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria at a high rate.

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