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Congress Fast-Tracks Harvey Relief; Package Could Reach White House On Friday

The Senate this afternoon passed a $15.3 billion air package for Harvey victims — nearly doubling the president’s emergency request. The 80-17 vote returns the legislation to the House for a vote Friday that would send it to the White House.

The aid money for Harvey comes as Hurricane Irma makes its presence known on the East Coast. Representative Gene Green has been meeting with 36 bipartisan House members — 11 of them in constituencies that suffered heavy damage from Harvey.

“What we’re showing is that Texas is united to work, to make sure we rebuild our community. And I think that’s what we’re here today for, to show that we’re all together, whether you’re republican or democrat.”

The Texas delegation includes Green’s democrat and republican colleagues, including Ted Poe, who says long-term solutions are needed.

“Cause there’s going to be another Harvey, and we need to build at least one more reservoir, maybe two more reservoirs. We have to figure out how to get the water out of the Houston area down to the Gulf of Mexico without flooding.”

Republican John Culberson says infrastructure needs to be rebuilt.

“To make sure that we’ve repaired damage to the Houston Ship Channel, that we’re looking at the entire flood control infrastructure in a long-term way.”

In a bipartisan move, Congress added a deal to temporarily extend the government’s ability to borrow money to cover its bills, taking the threat of an October government shutdown off the table.

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