WASHINGTON — The Latest on the Trump administration’s response to Harvey (all times local):
A senior administration official says President Donald Trump has prepared a request to Congress for an initial $5.9 billion package in Harvey recovery aid.
The official says the White House proposal, which is not final, would make sure there’s plenty of money available for immediate recovery efforts over the next several weeks. The White House is shopping the measure to key Republicans, who may press for more.
The official was not authorized to release the information publicly before a final decision is made and spoke on condition of anonymity.
House GOP leaders have signaled they are aiming to act fast on Harvey aid and a vote is likely next week. Much larger future installments will be required but the initial package, to replenish Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster coffers through Sept. 30, shouldn’t be controversial.
— By Andrew Taylor
President Donald Trump may visit the Harvey-ravaged Houston area Saturday.
Trump, who visited Texas on Tuesday, is planning a return trip this weekend with first lady Melania Trump. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says they may visit the Houston area, as well as Lake Charles, Louisiana, though she is stressing the plans are still tentative.
The president traveled to Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday. He has pledged $1 million in personal funds to Harvey relief efforts.
The Trump administration is trying to assure victims of Harvey living in the country illegally that they will not be targeted as they try to access emergency services — as long as they haven’t committed other crimes.
Trump’s Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert says “no individual human being should worry about their immigration status unless they’ve committed a crime on top of coming here illegally when it comes to getting food, water and shelter.”
He also says no routine sweeps will be conducted in emergency shelters.
Still, he says people living in the country illegally should not expect long-term federal assistance reserved for citizens.
He says, “I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of benefits going out to illegal immigrants.”
The White House says President Donald Trump is pledging $1 million in personal funds to Harvey storm relief efforts.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement at a briefing Thursday.
And she says he’s calling on reporters to help decide which specific organization he will give to.
Trump has been criticized in the past for giving far less of his income to charitable causes than many other multi-billionaires.
Harvey’s flood waters have heavily damaged tens of thousands of homes across Texas and killed at least 30 people. The storm is now threatening the region near the Texas-Louisiana state line.