House approves $8 billion in initial Hurricane Harvey relief
Samaritans help push a boat with evacuees to high ground during a rain storm caused by Tropical Storm Harvey along Tidwell Road in east Houston, Texas, U.S. August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved roughly $8 billion in initial emergency aid for relief and rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey, which tore into Texas on Aug. 25.


The House-passed measure, which provides $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $450 million for the Small Business Administration, will now go to the Senate. Barring unexpected setbacks, the aid measure is expected to be sent to the White House by the end of the week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is considering linking the Harvey aid to a measure to raise the debt ceiling, or the federal government’s borrowing limit, that would run through the 2018 midterm elections, aides said. Conservative Republicans oppose tying Harvey aid to a debt ceiling measure, but Democratic leaders have said they would support linking the aid to a shorter-term debt ceiling increase.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Additional reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Tom Brown)