Texas Gov: Harvey Recovery Could Cost Taxpayers $180 Billion

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Tropical Storm Harvey probably caused between $150 and $180 billion in damage to Houston and other areas and will be a costly recovery process for the U.S., Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on several Sunday news shows.

“When you look at the number of homes and businesses affected by this, I think this will cost well over $120 billion,” Abbott said on Fox News Sunday.

Abbott wouldn’t say exactly how much the federal government would have to contribute to the recovery effort, but he noted that Harvey did far more damage than Katrina in 2005.

“You’re saying that you believe federal government will need to give north of $100 billion?” CNN State of the Union host Angela Mitchell asked Abbot on Sunday.

“In the overall equation, the cost of this, if I understand it correctly, the cost to rebuild [after] Katrina, was over $120 billion,” Abbot said. “And when you consider the magnitude of the size of this storm, it’s far larger than Katrina, both geographically and population-wise.”

The White House requested an initial package of $7.85 billion to assist with recovery, which Congress is expected to vote on when it returns to Washington after Labor Day. (RELATED: Trump Asks Congress For Nearly $8 Billion To Help Fund Harvey Rescue Effort)

“I think Congress understands this is a down payment on something that will cost far more,” Abbott said on Fox News.

The federal government contributed about $114 billion to recovery after Katrina, and that spending covered around 72 percent of the recovery costs, according to CNN’s analysis.

Abbott’s estimate echoes a request from Democratic Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, whose district includes Houston, for $150 billion in federal aid Tuesday, which would be the largest hurricane recovery package in U.S. history.

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