"This request is a down-payment on the president's commitment to help affected states recover from the storm, and future requests will address longer-term rebuilding needs", Mr Mulvaney said. There is also a provision that could be included in a short-term spending bill with $6.7 billion in disaster relief funding, but the White House and lawmakers are still discussing the matter. He says there's been an "outbreak of compassion" that has inspired the nation.
Although conservatives are opposed to raising the borrowing limit, the House and Senate are expected to vote quickly on sending the money to help the Houston area. The request is being prepared primarily to cover funding demands through the September 30 end of the federal fiscal year, according to the officials, who described the matter on condition of anonymity. Sanders said she would "assume" them money comes from the president's personal funding, as that is how he phrased it.
It has been blamed for the deaths of at least 47 people and about 43,000 are now housed in shelters.
Search-and-rescue teams have continued work in Beaumont, a city of about 120,000 people near the Louisiana border, where flooding has cut off the drinking water supply.
Ike, which became a category 2 hurricane, caused damage along the coastline in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas in September 2008. The White House is shopping the measure to key Republicans, who may press for more. Both Homeland Security and sources in Congress claim it's within the realm of possibility that the eventual relief package could be more expensive than the $120 billion appropriated for Katrina and Rita in 2005. House and Senate votes appear likely next week.
A senior House Republican, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deliberations were private, disclosed the approach.
He also tweeted Friday to praise his new chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, and criticize former FBI Director James Comey over his investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.
Rewriting the tax code - and passing big tax cuts - are high on President Trump's list of priorities, especially since Congress failed to deliver on its promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
In the week since Harvey dumped record rain and floods along swaths of the U.S. Gulf Coast, Trump has visited the region and showered praise on the responders. A vote on the emergency request is expected next week. The disaster relief agency is running out of money and won't be able to operate much beyond the end of next week.