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Arizona congressman says Harvey relief won’t affect possible shutdown

Joe Tijerina works to salvage items from his home that was destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in Rockport, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

LISTEN: Andy Biggs, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said Tuesday that any federal relief for Hurricane Harvey will likely not be tied to the overall budget fight that could shutdown the government next month.

“I don’t think anybody is going to tie this with the overall budget to prevent the shutdown,” Republican Rep. Andy Biggs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

Biggs said the federal government should talk with Texas officials before deciding where and how to spend any relief money.

“Let’s find out what those people on the ground think they need, let’s hear what they have to say and let’s see what Congress can do for them,” he said, adding that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has done a good job leading his state through the heaviest rainfall ever recorded — more than 48 inches — in the continental United States.

Biggs said Congress should address its budget problem as soon as it returns from the August recess next week by passing a continuing resolution, which would essentially leave the budget as-is and keep the lights on.

The congressman wouldn’t mind then tackling a full rewrite.

“Let’s rewrite a budget that’s really going to do something solid immediately to get us on the right footing,” he said.

President Donald Trump visited Texas on Tuesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s stops Tuesday in Corpus Christi and Austin are intended to highlight coordination at all levels of government and lay the groundwork for what is expected to be a lengthy recovery after the storm.

Trump traveled with the Cabinet secretaries of Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development, and the head of the Small Business Administration. Sanders said the secretaries will meet with their Texas counterparts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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