The Latest: House GOP unveils $81B disaster aid measure

MarketsAssociated Press

The Latest on the fight in Congress over the spending bill (all times local):

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9:50 p.m.

House Republicans have unveiled an $81 billion disaster aid measure that almost doubles last month's request by President Donald Trump.

The sweeping measure is scheduled for a vote this week and would bring the total appropriated by lawmakers to respond to this year's spate of hurricanes to more than $130 billion, exceeding the cost of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The powerful Texas and Florida delegations protested loudly after Trump's $44 billion request and prevailed upon the Appropriations Committee to add funding for community development block grants, agricultural aid and Army Corps of Engineers navigation and flood control projects.

New Jersey Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen wrote the measure. He says lawmakers "must provide the necessary resources for them to recover from these emergencies."

The bill also responds to wildfire disasters in California.

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6:50 p.m.

A House panel is poised to roll out an $81 billion disaster aid package, almost double what President Donald Trump requested.

That's the word from Republican lawmakers and congressional aides on Monday night.

Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas says members of his delegation and Florida's met with leadership on the package. Sessions says: "While it was not everything, it was further than the administration proposed."

The package includes $26 billion for community development block grants that help communities ravaged by hurricanes to rebuild homes and other structures. It also includes $3.8 billion for agriculture. Florida lawmakers say citrus crops in their state were hard hit.

Last month, Trump requested $44 billion, his third emergency request since hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria slammed the Gulf Coast and Caribbean.

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4:25 p.m.

The Senate's top Republican has announced a lengthy wish list that he hopes to attach to a must-do spending bill this week, but there's no agreement with the chamber's Democrats and little time to waste.

The government would partially shut down if Washington can't pass another stopgap spending bill by midnight Friday.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is eyeing the measure as a shortcut to power several other items into law, including hurricane relief, a renewal of a children's health insurance program and funding to stabilize "Obamacare" insurance markets.

But top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has other priorities, chiefly immigration and securing spending increases for domestic agencies to match a budget increase for the Pentagon.

An impasse could prompt lawmakers to do the bare minimum to avert a shutdown.