Time to Get to Work on Harvey Aid
by John Cornyn on September 6, 2017 at 11:04 AM
During my trip to Corpus Christi, Rockport, Austin, all around the state, these are the stories I heard in Houston, Beaumont, and other cities; all of them devastated. But in none of them was their spirit destroyed
As I did a small part loading bags of ice and water and serving spaghetti to evacuees in Austin, I was struck by how many people - public officials, volunteers, businesses, and nonprofits great and small - how many have offered and given their support. I want to say we are grateful to all of them.
Governor Greg Abbott's leadership in particular has been critical. He and his team of emergency management personnel, led by Chief Nim Kidd, were well-prepared in advance, and they moved swiftly following the State of Emergency being declared in more than 50 of the 254 Texas counties.
The federal government stepped up too, starting with the President of the United States, who made two trips personally to the affected region, along with the First Lady. And he brought members of his Cabinet who had previously called over and over and over again to me and my other colleagues from the Texas delegation asking, what more can we do? And I thank the President and the Vice President, who also came personally.
As I said last week in Texas, the road ahead is going to be long and winding… This is why I'm working with Senator Cruz and the entire Texas congressional delegation on an appropriations request for disaster recovery. The many communities impacted by this massive storm will need our help and need it quickly.
And unless we raise the debt ceiling, there will not be any way that Congress can actually appropriate that emergency funding and get it to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help those in so much need. By working together, we are going to deliver that help.
As President Trump said last week, Texas can handle anything. Well, I think the President is pretty much right. We've seen our share of catastrophes, and we've always bounced back. Texans are tough and resilient, and we always band together.
Tomorrow, as I said, the House of Representatives will vote on a roughly $8 billion aid package, the first of several steps - the first of several steps - toward delivering relief to Texans.
I look forward to working with Leader McCarthy and all of my colleagues in both Chambers of the Congress on addressing the needs caused by this terrible storm. And, by the way, I appreciate all of the texts, the phone calls, the e-mails I got from colleagues on both sides of the aisle throughout this terrible storm, expressing their concerns and offering their prayers and their help.
Let's remember Sergeant Steve Perez, the police officer that died in Houston, the officer that could have stayed home because, as his wife said, it's just too dangerous to go out there amidst the flood. But, like him, let's do our duty and look for a way to work together.
Let's get to work, and do our job not only in providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, but there's so much more that we need to do working together.