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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 16, 2006

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives

      Fact Sheet: President Bush Requests $19.8 Billion for Hurricane Recovery
      In Focus: Hurricane Recovery

February 16, 2006

Dear Mr. Speaker:

Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in our Nation's history. Katrina devastated an area roughly the size of Great Britain. This devastation has required an unprecedented response by Federal, State, and local governments, as well as the private sector. So far, the Federal Government has committed more than $87 billion in spending and $8 billion in tax relief for the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.

To provide additional resources to assist the region in its recovery, I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed requests, totaling $19.8 billion. This request includes critical funding to: replenish the Department of Homeland Security's Disaster Relief Fund in support of ongoing response efforts; support the Small Business Administration's Disaster Loan program; provide funding for the Community Development Block Grant program to support Louisiana's flood mitigation plans; achieve my commitment through the Corps of Engineers for stronger and better levee protection for New Orleans; and continue rebuilding of the region's Federal infrastructure.

I urge the Congress to act expeditiously on this request to ensure that the Federal response and recovery efforts continue uninterrupted. I designate this proposal in the amount requested herein as an emergency requirement.

The details of this request are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.



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