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Dispossessed families of Hurricane Katrina will receive debit cards good for $2,000 to spend on clothing and other immediate needs, the Bush administration announced Wednesday, working to recast a relief effort drawing scant praise from Republicans and scathing criticism from top congressional Democrats.
The administration formally asked Congress for $51.8 billion in relief and recovery expenses in addition to $10.5 billion already approved, calling it the latest installment, but not the last. "We will in fact need substantially more" money, said budget director Josh Bolten, estimating the money would cover expenses for "a few weeks."