Heading to Camp David for Hurricane Irma, Trump signs $15 billion disaster funding bill – USA TODAY
President Donald Trump says Hurricane Irma “is a storm of absolutely historic destructive potential.” In a video posted to Facebook, the president is urging those in the path of the dangerous hurricane to heed the recommendations of officials. (Sept. 8)
WASHINGTONÂ â President Trump headed to Camp David on Friday, where he’ll spend a weekend huddling with his cabinet and monitoring the federal response to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
“It’s a really bad one, but we are prepared at the highest level,” Trump shouted to reporters over the whir of a helicopter engine at the White House on Friday before boarding Marine One for the presidential retreat.
While at Camp David, Trump signed a bill to provide $15.25 billion in additional disaster relief funds, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Those preparations are getting increasingly complicated as the federal government fights what is essentially a three-front war: Recovery in Texas and Louisiana, life-saving efforts in Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and preparation and evacuation in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
“We’re seeing all three play out for us at the same time,” White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said Friday. “It requires us to juggle some of our thinking, but it doesn’t require us to juggle our resources.”
Trump will get an update on the storms Saturday morning as he convenes his full cabinet for the fourth timeÂ since all members were sworn in three months ago. The cabinet meeting at the presidential retreat will also give Trump a chance to review to “lead discussion on the administration’s priorities,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Those priorities have been buffeted not only by hurricane winds, but also a summer full of developments on North Korea, Obamacare repeal, immigration and race relations. On Thursday, Trump struck a deal with congressional Democrats to pass a short-term funding bill, provide hurricane relief and raise the debt ceiling through December.
Trump was expected to sign that bill Friday.
In a weekly radio address focused mostly on tax reform, Trump urged everyone in the storm’s path to be vigilant and “heed all recommendations from government officials and law enforcement.”
“This is a storm of absolutely historic destructive potential,” he said. “Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our people.”
First lady Melania Trump will accompany the president to Camp David, and has also invited the spouses of cabinet secretaries to attend.
But one spouse will be conspicuously absent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, husband of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, will be in his home state of Kentucky this weekend and will not participate, spokesman Don Stewart said. Trump and McConnell feuded last month over the Senate’s inability to pass a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act.