Texas officials told Congress today they might need up to $40 billion in aid to rebuild the state's hurricane-hit areas, the Houston Chronicle reports. The state's lieutenant governor sought at least $11.5 billion of aid and as many trailer homes as available to help the 770 communities damaged by Hurricane Ike. Houston's mayor requested an immediate $2.5 billion injection to help his metropolis.
“Now we have been hit directly, and we need the federal government’s help,” Bill White said, reminding lawmakers that Houston received little reimbursement for the 100,000 evacuees who poured in from the Gulf Coast in 2005. Officials asked that FEMA work directly with them to avoid a bureaucratic mess; Texas Sen. John Cornyn said he will urge “parity” between help for Ike victims and the current Wall Street bailout.