Cochran Seeks More for Rebuilding

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Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but efforts to shore up her damage could be driving a wedge between Washington Republicans.

A veteran Mississippi Republican, who also chairs the Senate Appropriations panel, is urging Congress to more than double President Bush's storm cleanup proposal.

Thad Cochran said he wants to add more than $18 billion to the $17 billion request submitted by the White House in October. But House GOP leaders and conservatives are expected to resist, for fear that hurricane spending will pad the deficit.

Most of Cochran's additional funding would go to Community Development Block Grants to help homeowners without flood insurance rebuild or repair their homes.

Cochran also wants to add about $4 billion for agriculture disasters nationwide, which could build political support for the whole relief package.