- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 3, 2017

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday said the price tag for Hurricane Harvey relief could reach as high as $180 billion, noting that the devastated population and area are “far larger” than ones swamped by Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy in years past.

President Trump has requested nearly $8 billion so far, but Mr. Abbott said that is merely a “down payment” on what will be needed to deal with widespread devastation and flooding across Houston and southeast Texas.

The Republican governor warned that waters are still rising around Beaumont and other parts of Texas, though other folks are starting to come to grips with Harvey’s toll, ripping out dry wall and flooring in their homes as they tally up their costs.

“This is where we come to the part where Congress plays a role,” Mr. Abbott told “Fox News Sunday.” “We need Congress to step up and pass that to help Texas rebuild.”

More than once, Mr. Abbott said the devastation exceeded that of Superstorm Sandy, which battered the Northeast in 2012, and the well-documented Katrina disaster in 2005.

Texas Republicans who voted against roughly $50 billion in Sandy relief, citing items that were unrelated to the storm, are facing backlash from Northeast Republicans, who say they won’t turn their backs on Texans this time around.

Mr. Abbott said the federal government is just one part of the relief effort, highlighting a fund called RebuildTX.org and life-saving efforts by everyday Texans on the ground.

“These are the real heroes of the whole process,” he said.

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