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More hurricane aid pledged as lawmakers tour Houston-area damage

In this Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, photo, Arlene Estle stands outside her home which was damaged by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey, in Houston. Victims of Harvey, desperate to rebuild their homes and lives, are facing the harsh reality that it may take months for an overwhelmed construction industry to address their needs. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
In this Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, photo, Arlene Estle stands outside her home which was damaged by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey, in Houston. Victims of Harvey, desperate to rebuild their homes and lives, are facing the harsh reality that it may take months for an overwhelmed construction industry to address their needs. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(Bloomberg) -- Congress will need to provide "substantially more" money for hurricane recovery than the initial $15.25 billion passed earlier this month, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said as members of the state congressional delegation and other leaders visited the Houston suburb of Friendswood on Thursday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said more than one piece of legislation will be needed. While aid is initially focused on short-term relief, he noted that there has been additional damage from massive hurricanes, including Wednesday’s direct hit on Puerto Rico by Maria.

Ryan said he expects officials to have an idea how much money will be needed sometime in October, and Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul of Texas said lawmakers expect a request for funding by the administration by mid-October and a vote shortly afterward.

Related: Congress sends hurricane aid, debt ceiling package to Trump

"This is one of those unprecedented disasters that will require a very bold response at all levels of the government," said Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican.

The lawmakers took a helicopter tour to view the damage in the Houston area by Hurricane Harvey. Second-ranking Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas said one priority will be an assessment by the Army Corps of Engineers to try to curb future flooding in the Houston ship channel.

Related: Hurricane Harvey water releases result in lawsuits against government for damages

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