House Speaker Paul Ryan visited Houston on Thursday and said the House expects to pass another round of hurricane relief funding as early as next month.
“The Trump administration is still totaling up what’s going on in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico,” Ryan told a group of aid workers, after surveying the destruction wrought by Hurricane Harvey last month across the Houston area.
“We’re waiting for an estimate from the Trump administration on what’s needed in Congress, and we’ll act on that request, I anticipate, sometime in October,” Ryan said.
Ryan also indicated that more work will need to be done at the federal level to shore up vulnerable coastlines.
“The bigger picture, whether it’s bayous or levies, that’s something we’re going to need to have a bigger conversation about, to make sure we can guard against this happening again,” he said.
“Just flying over Houston, the devastation is something that none of us have ever seen in our lives. This is an unprecedented disaster that will require a very bold response at all levels of government.”
Ryan was accompanied by the Lone Star State’s two Republican senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., and the chair of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Texas Republican Rep. John Carter.
In early September, the House Speaker worked hard to marshal support within his fractured caucus for a $9.7 billion hurricane relief funding bill. It was ultimately passed with the help of Democratic support, even though more than 90 Republicans voted against it.
Harvey was the most destructive storm to hit Texas in modern times, ripping through the state during the last few days of August and resulting in at least 81 deaths and billions of dollars in property damage. In the weeks since Harvey came ashore, two more hurricanes, Irma and Maria, have caused billions of dollars more in damage to Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.