Amid Winter Storms, Sens. Cruz, Cornyn Urge Biden to Approve Gov. Abbott's Request for Disaster Declaration

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and I yesterday wrote President Biden in support of Governor Abbott's federal disaster declaration request amid severe winter storms across the State of Texas:

In the letter, we wrote:

"The Governor and local officials have informed us that the severity and magnitude of the storm is beyond the response capabilities of the state and local government. Prolonged sub-freezing temperatures, strained energy capacity, and treacherous roadways are just a few of the current dangers faced by all Texans. In the last three days, there have been 11 crash-related fatalities as road conditions deteriorate. More than 23,000 Texans have lost power, and frozen pipes have impacted water distribution across the state.

"We respectfully urge you to approve the Governor's request for Public Assistance Category B and Direct Federal Assistance for all 254 Texas counties."

Full text of the letter is below.

February 14, 2021

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Mr. President:

It is our understanding that the State of Texas, through the Office of the Governor, has made a formal request for an emergency disaster declaration as a result of severe winter weather that began on February 11, 2021 and will continue throughout the entirety of the state for several days. As you know, Governor Abbott declared a state disaster in all 254 Texas counties. Winter storm conditions, including snow, sleet, and freezing rain have impacted the State's critical infrastructure and are a continued threat to the health and security of Texans.

The Governor and local officials have informed us that the severity and magnitude of the storm is beyond the response capabilities of the state and local government. Prolonged sub-freezing temperatures, strained energy capacity, and treacherous roadways are just a few of the current dangers faced by all Texans. In the last three days, there have been 11 crash-related fatalities as road conditions deteriorate. More than 23,000 Texans have lost power, and frozen pipes have impacted water distribution across the state.

We respectfully urge you to approve the Governor's request for Public Assistance Category B and Direct Federal Assistance for all 254 Texas counties. We stand prepared to assist you in any way possible to ensure prompt evaluation of this request. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our offices with any questions.

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