Congress considers nearly $1.7B Florence relief package ahead of budget deadline

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Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, as it threatens the U.S. East Coast. | NASA via AP

WASHINGTON — Congress is starting to consider almost $1.7 billion in new money to aid recovery efforts from Florence.

Lawmakers already are facing a deadline this week to fund the government before the start of the new budget year Oct. 1, and members of Congress will try to act on the disaster relief along with separate legislation to fund the government.

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee says the money would be available as grants to states to help rebuild housing and public works, and assist businesses as they recover from the storm.

GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey says it’s “a first round” and that lawmakers are ready to act quickly if the federal disaster relief agency also needs more money.

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