Cornyn Calls on OMB to Stop Stalling Release of Harvey Money

Yesterday on the floor I discussed an amendment I have filed to the disaster supplemental appropriations bill that will force the Office of Management and Budget to release funds for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts that have been held up for over a year. Excerpts of my floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.

Although we voted to send billions of dollars to help Texans still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, some of those funds are still needlessly caught up in bureaucratic red tape. But this is not just a phenomenon that affects my state. It affects all of our states.

It shouldn't be acceptable to members of the Senate.

The dollars that we appropriated that were signed into law by the president have helped Texas get back some sense of normalcy, and I’m grateful to my colleagues for working together with us to make that happen. What has not been helpful, however, are the unnecessary delays on the part of the Office of Management and Budget in getting the roughly $4 billion in mitigation funds into the hands of state and local communities that desperately need them.

I’m filing an amendment to the disaster relief that’s on the floor of the Senate this week to ensure that these funds and other like funds are promptly disbursed.

Last month Governor Abbott, Senator Cruz, and I sent a letter to the OMB to stop stalling, but so far all we’ve heard is crickets.

It would give the government bureaucracy up to ninety days to get the money untangled from all the red tape.

The disregard of those who are struggling to rebuild and prepare for future storms by the bureaucrats is appalling.

It’s now been more than a year since President Trump signed a bill that would have sent roughly $4 billion to Texas.

They could have repaired wastewater treatment facilities that haven't been fully restored. It could have led to important economic revitalization projects in decimated areas. They could have even relocated or elevated damaged facilities to prepare for the next storm.”

But, no, those projects are still on hold because the OMB has refused to release the funding.

With the inclusion of my amendment, the clock will start ticking on the Office of Management and Budget to do its job and ultimately release these hurricane recovery funds.


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