Sen. Corker: Harvey devastation will be a priority for Congress - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Sen. Corker: Harvey devastation will be a priority for Congress

Corker speaks at the Germantown Rotary on Wednesday, Aug. 30 (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives) Corker speaks at the Germantown Rotary on Wednesday, Aug. 30 (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

As communities in Texas and Louisiana reel from the devastation of Harvey, the focus in the coming weeks will be the cost of the storm.

It’s a reality that Congress will be forced to tackle. Thursday, U.S. Senator Bob Corker talked to WMC Action News 5 about the impact.

“People of Texas have responded admirably,” Corker said, “The federal government has partnered with the state of Texas.”

Speaking at the Memphis chamber Thursday morning, Corker acknowledged Harvey will likely be top of mind for lawmakers when they reconvene in September in Washington, D.C.

Coastal communities will need months and years to clean up, and the recovery won’t be cheap.

“It’s one of the many tough issues we’re going to have to deal with when we get back,” Corker said. 

In fact, Harvey may overwhelm Congress, which already faces a looming deadline next month to raise the debt ceiling and keep the government open.

Some experts NBC news surveyed said Harvey could cost $190 billion, making it the costliest storm in U.S. history. Congress could consider a smaller aid package when they return and a larger one later.

Making matters worse, Corker said the national flood insurance program isn’t sustainable.

“The flood insurance program right now is allowed to take on about $30.4 billion worth of debt,” Corker said. “It’s at about $25 billion today. This disaster is going to be much greater than that.”

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