Bush said to seek $40 billion (Ђ32 billion) for hurricane relief

George W. Bush intends to seek $40 billion (Ђ32 billion) to cover the next phase of relief and recovery operations from Hurricane Katrina, a congressional official said.

Tuesday as leading lawmakers and the White House pledged to investigate an initial federal response widely condemned as woefully inadequate.

One week after the storm spread death and destruction across a swath of the Gulf Coast, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said the total tab for the federal government may top $150 billion (Ђ120 billion) .

Stung by the criticism, Bush invited congressional leaders to the White House for a meeting later Tuesday, their first since the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast and left much of New Orleans underwater, AP reports.

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