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Trump to pledge $1 million of his own money to Harvey disaster relief

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 12:07 PM

As the Trump Administration readied an initial request for disaster relief from the Congress to deal with the damage from Hurricane Harvey, the White House announced on Thursday afternoon that President Trump will pledge $1 million in his own personal funds to private relief efforts, as the damage numbers from the Texas Gulf Coast continued to escalate.

"As I said, he'll pledge proudly $1 million of his own personal money to help the people of Texas and Louisiana," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

At the same briefing, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said that damage estimates continue to grow, estimating now that 100,000 homes have been damaged by Harvey in Texas.

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"That's a big number," Bossert said.

"We're going to have 100,000 different homes, all with different degrees of insurance," Bossert said. "We'll have to address those on a case by case basis as we move forward.

Bossert was not ready to offer up a number on how much federal aid would be requested by the White House, only saying that a request for an initial infusion of resources would go to Capitol Hill "shortly."

Before Harvey began mangling Texas coastal communities, FEMA had $3.6 billion in disaster relief money available - but that will run out in September.

"I'm not worried at all that we don't have the money right now for the operations underway and the operations that we foresee in the next month," Bossert added.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence toured some of the devastation in and around Rockport, Texas, which was where Hurricane Harvey made an initial landfall.

"You've inspired the nation by your resilience and by your courage, and we just came here to commend you," the Vice President said to applause.

The White House confirmed that President Trump will return to Texas on Saturday for a second look at the damage.

He will also go to Louisiana, which was hit by heavy rains associated with Harvey as well.

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