It's not yet known how much money the administration will ask for in the initial request, but congressional aides expect at least enough money to carry out relief efforts through the end of the budget year on Sept 30.
Lawmakers could tie disaster relief money to other, less popular bills. Failing to raise the debt limit would risk a market-shattering first-ever USA default.
Another concern is that the government's cash reserves are running low since the nation's debt limit has been reached and the Treasury Department is using accounting measures to cover expenses.
The request for funding may be sent to Congress as early as today, with votes expected next week. The plan is still tentative, but the White House signaled it's on board with the idea.
Friday's letter, addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said that the requested amount of $7.8 billion "would enable the affected States to address disaster response and immediate recovery needs in the areas most affected by Hurricane Harvey", including "life-saving response and recovery missions" and "addressing housing fix costs unmet by insurance; and provide low-interest loans to businesses and homeowners".
"I just don't think a shutdown is in anyone's interest or needed for anyone's interests", House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in an interview Friday with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), responsible for coordinating emergency response to natural disasters, is reportedly already spending existing disaster aid reserves-currently valued at $2.1 billion-at a high rate.
But getting disaster relief through Congress isn't always easy.
"We will be here every day until this city and this state and this region rebuild bigger and better than ever before", he said. He says all hands are on deck in the storm response.