Texas Gov. Abbott lobbying in Washington to pitch $60B recovery bill

Published on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 17:24 - Written by ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday lobbied the White House and top congressional leaders for a $61 billion Texas Gulf Coast rebuilding package.

Topping the huge Hurricane Harvey recovery proposal is $37 billion for Army Corps of Engineers flood control and navigation projects and $15 billion for community development block grants.

Abbott said Tuesday "what we're asking for is not unusual when you consider the size and scope and population impacted by this storm."

He said Harvey was "far larger than Katrina. It's pretty much Katrina and Sandy combined."

Abbott visited with White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday and was scheduled to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Congress just last week wrapped up a $36.5 billion hurricane recovery measure to respond to this year's disastrous hurricane season, which sent successive storms sweeping through Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. An earlier $15 billion package passed in September.

The first two measures focused largely on immediate response and recovery efforts; The White House says an upcoming request from President Donald Trump for rebuilding efforts is coming by mid-November.

Abbott was making the round in support of a report from a commission he set up to assess the state's needs.