Texas Governor Greg Abbott requested statewide major disaster relief after a massive winter storm caused widespread devastation, but President Biden has only yet approved a portion of that relief.
Only 77 counties were initially approved and prompted a comment from Abbott. “While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need,” a press release stated on Saturday. “The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”
Thirty-one additional counties were added on Monday, bringing the total to 108 out of 254 Texas counties. The declaration signed by Biden on Friday includes the cities of Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The assistance will provide low-cost loans, temporary housing, and home repairs.
Video Credit: DW News
The White House is claiming they are looking into additional data concerning the tragedy. “We expect more counties to be added as more work is done to evaluate it, and that’s a reflection of FEMA’s initial evaluation,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “In the meantime, the president has asked FEMA to do everything it can to rapidly distribute aid to the state of Texas.”
“The governor requested a federal disaster declaration, the president asked his team to expedite that and FEMA determined where the counties should be, where it should focus the immediate resources, where the counties that are hardest hit, so that they can make sure they get the people in most need,” Psaki told ABC’s “This Week.”
A gracious Governor Abbott conveyed his gratitude for the help given to his state.
“I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state,” Abbott said in a statement. “Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need. The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”
— Texas Division of Emergency Management (@TDEM) February 20, 2021
Fourteen Texas Democrats are now asking FEMA to approve a statewide request for aid. Senators Cornyn and Cruz have written a letter also requesting aid.
“This is an important first step to getting the resources necessary to help our state recover and rebuild,” said Democrat Rep. Lizzie Fletcher of Houston.
“Although we expect the extreme winter temperatures to wane, the long-term damage to our homes, businesses, municipal services and infrastructure, energy infrastructure, and agricultural and food systems cannot be overstated. Much of this damage will be exacerbated by a simultaneous economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that has already challenged local industries and governments,” wrote the group of 14 Democrats.
Cornyn and Cruz urged in their letter that aid be provided “for all 254 Texas counties as a result of severe winter weather that began on February 11, 2021. We urge you to grant this request to secure the health and safety of all Texans affected by this disaster.”
Tonight, I called Governor Greg Abbott to discuss the ongoing situation in Texas and identify ways we can support the state’s recovery from this storm. I made clear to the Governor that I’ll work relentlessly to get his state what they need. pic.twitter.com/UBwH8DMep2
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 19, 2021
President Biden has not visited Texas yet but claims it is in the works.
Meanwhile, Democrats outside of Texas are piling on blaming only their Republican counterparts for the horrific outcome of the storm. Chuck Schumer leads the pack: “The bottom line is, Texas thought it could go it alone and built a system that ignored climate change,” he stated during a press conference.
“It was not what’s called resilient, and now Texas is paying the price,” Schumer arrogantly said. “I hope they learned a lesson,” he added.