Congress is expected to vote this week on a nearly $8 billion down payment for Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, tells Springfield television station KOLR making multiple installments, similar to 2011 Joplin tornado aid, would be more fiscally responsible than a large lump sum.
“Much better to do this when you know what the costs are than anticipating the cost,” he says. “I think we funded that in four different bills at four different times and we funded that knowing what the costs were.”
The hurricane has left more than one million people homeless and is shaping up to be one of the costliest disasters in U.S. history. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, R, says the cost of recovery could be as much as $180 billion.
Blunt says he voted against $50 billion in Hurricane Sandy aid because it was one-time funding.
“It hasn’t all been spent yet,” he says.
Some members want to attach the relief package to a measure that would increase the federal debt ceiling. Blunt says he’s not excited about boosting the debt limit.
Democratic lawmakers are waiting to comment until they review the plan.
Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas on Aug. 25 and dumped about 52 inches of rain in some locations. The death toll from the hurricane is at least 63 people.