Representatives August Pfluger (R) and Henry Cuellar (D) led a bipartisan letter to the White House in which lawmakers urged the administration to approve all 254 Texas counties for Individual Assistance to aid the state’s recovery from the devastating winter storm.
On Saturday, the President signed the disaster declaration for 77 counties. On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had approved federal disaster aid for 31 additional counties.
In the letter, the bipartisan group of 27 House Members expressed their concern that the declarations fall short of the need in Texas, citing current estimates of $62 million worth of damages. They requested the President’s immediate approval of Individual Assistance from FEMA for all 254 Texas counties.
“The services provided by FEMA’s Individual Assistance programs are essential to helping states and communities recover from disasters,” the members wrote. “Although the initial efforts of this unprecedented winter storm are beginning to dissipate, the entire state continues to reel from the aftermath that has left millions without power, portable water, and dwindled food supplies.”
They concluded: “The continued delay of FEMA Individual Assistance to all 254 counties in the State of Texas will only prolong the suffering of millions of Americans.”
Twenty-seven Texas representatives signed the letter: August Pfluger, Tony Gonzales, Henry Cuellar, Ronny L. Jackson, Pat Fallon, Joaquin Castro, Michael T. McCaul, Randy Weber, Beth Van Duyne, Colin Allred, Pete Sessions, Van Taylor, Kevin Brady, Dan Crenshaw, Al Green, Michael C. Burgess, Lance Gooden, Roger Williams, Jodey C. Arrington, Louie Gohmert, Eddie Bernice Johnson, John Carter, Kay Granger, Sheila Jackson Lee, Vicente Gonzalez, Brian Babin, and Michael Cloud.
The eight who conspicuously did not sign were Democrat Reps. Lloyd Doggett, Veronica Escobar, Lizzie Fletcher, Sylvia Garcia, Marc Veasey and Filemon Vela along with Republican Reps. Chip Roy and Troy Nehls.