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House Could Vote On Harvey Relief Package As Soon As Next Week

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The House is considering scheduling a vote on a Hurricane Harvey disaster relief package next week, just after they return from their August recess, The Associated Press first reported Thursday.

While the monetary sum of what the bill will provide in aid has not yet been determined, the legislation is expected to provide billions in funding to assist with recovery efforts. The White House is pushing lawmakers to act swiftly as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s reserves are beginning to dwindle.

The bill is expected to be a down payment for initial response efforts, with lawmakers likely passing additional measures after they have a better sense of what’s needed.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said he’s only heard rumors on what the dollar amount will be, but expects the total number to be high.

“I mean, I’ve heard $100 billion bantered around — not for a vote next week — but that may be the total amount of some kind of emergency package when it’s all said and done. But I think that’s more speculation than actual fact,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “And at this point, I think no one really knows until we further assess the damage that took place in Texas and Louisiana in order to make more of a proper estimate of what type of action we need to be put forward.”

President Donald Trump is expected to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 6 to discuss the best way to proceed on handling recovery efforts.

The pressing need to move on a disaster relief bill could incentivize Congress to move on raising the debt ceiling sooner earlier than anticipated as the Treasury Department currently has just $67.8 billion in its reserves — a number that varies by day depending on federal spending and the intake of tax receipts, The Washington Post reports.

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