Texas Republicans have a new perspective on federal disaster aid

30 August, 2017, 02:02 | Author: Chad Mckenzie

NY political figures from both parties expressed support for Harvey funding but were loath to enter the fray over Republican opposition to funding previous natural disasters.

Two dozen Republican Texas U.S. House members and GOP U.S. Sens. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has warned that the U.S government will hit its borrowing limit on September 29 and potentially risk defaulting on its obligations without raising the debt ceiling. It has a mere $1.7 billion to pay claims and $5.8 billion left that it can borrow from the Treasury, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which manages the program. "We will come out stronger, and believe me we will be bigger, better, stronger than ever before". "It'll go very fast".

Another issue lawmakers face is emergency aid to address damage that isn't insured, a process that has been controversial on Capitol Hill in recent years. He said 22,000 people had already applied for federal aid but that as "many as a half-a-million people in Texas will be eligible for and applying for financial disaster assistance". The proposed package was $50.5 billion and it easily passed.

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Cruz said he had spoken to a number of administration officials and he said that President Donald Trump had instructed them via video conference to make federal resources available. "As you know, it's going to be a very expensive situation", he told reporters in the Oval Office. Some said it contained too much funding for unrelated provisions or sought corresponding spending cuts. "That's why I took the steps in 2012, when I did, to oppose the folks, the Republicans in Congress, who delayed Sandy aid".

Among those opposing Sandy relief were then-Rep.

"We're not going to hold it against those poor Texans who need our help what their representatives tried to do to us back five years ago", said Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y.

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Both senators wrote to Texas Governor Greg Abbott Friday urging him to expedite emergency funding for the state this time around. "1 bad turn doesn't deserve another", he tweeted over the weekend.

While Cruz hopes to return to Houston to visit with displaced victims of the storm, President Trump is expected to arrive in Texas later Tuesday, visiting both Corpus Christi and Austin to receive briefings on the storm as well as tour emergency operation centers. A Hurricane Harvey relief bill is projected to dwarf the Superstorm Sandy aid package because of the historic scale of the catastrophic flooding in the aftermath. He also rebuffed questions about his lack of support for Sandy relief, adding those bills were "two-thirds pork spending completely unrelated" to the storm.

Trump also hosted Cruz for a dinner at the White House this past spring, and the senator called the first couple "warm and gracious."Cruz attended a health care lunch with Republican senators at the White House earlier this summer, as well as the signing of the NASA reauthorization bill in March". "The United States Senate should not be in the business of exploiting victims of natural disasters to fund pork projects that further expand our debt".

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