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Trump takes side of churches suing for FEMA funds after Harvey

President Trump is taking the side of three Texas churches that are suing the Federal Emergency Management Agency over disaster relief funds in the wake of Harvey.

The president writes on Twitter, “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others).” 

The Houston Chronicle reports that the three churches – Rockport First Assembly of God, Harvest Family Church and Hi-Way Tabernacle – sued FEMA on Tuesday for access to relief funding. The lawsuit claims FEMA violates the Constitution by denying disaster funding to faith-based groups. 

The lawsuit comes three months after the Supreme Court ruled that a church in Missouri could use federal funds to resurface the playground, which experts told the Texas Tribune could set a precedent for similar cases. 

A Justice Department spokeswoman has told the Chronicle it is “aware of the complaint and will examine the claims.” 

Harvey slammed into Texas on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane, but brought the worst flooding to Houston and other areas as a tropical storm. The rain totaled nearly 52 inches in some spots. The storm is being blamed for at least 63 deaths

Harvey is expected to be one of the costliest natural disasters in history. On Friday, the House passed a nearly $15.3 billion disaster aid package.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Published at Sat, 09 Sep 2017 07:06:54 +0000

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