VIDEO: Cornyn Pledges to Help Texas Recover, Rebuild
by John Cornyn on February 24, 2021 at 12:54 PM
Yesterday, I spoke on the Senate floor for the first time following severe winter weather and associated power and water outages in Texas last week. Excerpts of my remarks are below, and video can be found here.
In times of crisis, there's no red team and no blue team, and I want to thank every person who supported the response to this crisis so far, whether they are Texans or not.
I know more will be needed in the days and weeks ahead, and I want to assure the folks back home that I'm listening, I'm working and I'm here to help any way that I can.
I know there are still many without water and electric and I want to assure them, you are the nation's priority.
First responders and 9/11 dispatchers have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Health care workers, fighting a pandemic already, have now had to deal with power outages, staffing shortages, and water disruptions because of this storm.
Utility workers and energy providers have worked, of course, around the clock in dangerous conditions to restore power and safe drinking water to Texans.
And millions of unsung heroes have helped their fellow Texans get through these darks days. Checking on an elderly neighbor, helping drivers whose vehicles were stuck in the snow, welcoming people into their homes, donating supplies to those in need and so much more.
The past year has dealt us a tough hand. But I have faith that we'll come through this crisis just as we always have before, together.
I continue to say a prayer for those impacted by the storm and assure my constituents, my friends and neighbors in Texas, that I'll continue to do everything in my power to help our state recover and rebuild.
Here are some of the actions I took last week to help Texans through the storm:
- I have been briefed by and remains in touch with state emergency officials on the ongoing situation.
- I launched a page on his website of resources and tips for Texans dealing with severe weather and power and water outages.
- I wrote a letter to President Biden in support of Governor Abbott’s request for a federal disaster declaration to authorize swift federal assistance to Texas.
- I called on the U.S. Dept. of Energy to issue a waiver to allow Texas power generators to increase production, which resulted in quick approval.
- My office is helping connect constituents in need with local resources.
- As an example, my office helped prevent millions of dollars of COVID testing materials and pathology tests from going to waste at a large medical testing lab in Austin. My staff connected them to the proper authorities to coordinate a diesel fuel truck arrival to refill their generators before their tank ran out, after roads had shut down and diesel trucks were grounded.
- I sent letters of support to the Biden Administration backing the two most recent state requests for federal assistance:
- Gov. Abbott’s request that all categories of Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program be authorized for all 254 Texas counties.
- Gov. Abbott’s request for a USDA disaster designation for Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties to make federal assistance, such as emergency loans, available to agricultural producers who have suffered losses due to the storm.