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Hutchison Eyes Storm Funding

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) plans to attach up to $1 billion to the continuing resolution for storm relief in the wake of Hurricane Ike’s devastation of southern Texas.

Hutchison said the dollar amount might change as some areas, particularly ones that were hardest hit, have not seen emergency personnel.

The senior Republican from Texas, who also sits on the Appropriations Committee, added that the emergency storm relief package would likely be attached to the CR rather than the proposed stimulus.

“I do not think that it should go on the second stimulus. It should go on the CR. It should stand on its own,” she said. “There are too many problems on the stimulus.”

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) echoed that thought, saying that the CR may be the best vehicle for storm relief.

“I would like to have a stimulus bill, but right now what I am focused on is disaster [relief],” Landrieu said.

The addition of the storm relief package to the CR may not bode well for Republicans, as several have threatened to hold up passage if Democrats seek to maintain the Congressional ban on offshore drilling. Hutchison acknowledge that there may be a problem but that she and her colleagues would eventually work it out.

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