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Sens. Cruz, Cornyn, Gov. Abbott, Texas Delegation Urges White House to Protect Hurricane Harvey Recovery Funds

January 15, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), Governor Greg Abbott, and Texas members of the U.S. House of Representatives today sent a letter to President Trump urging him not to use any federal funds already appropriated for Hurricane Harvey recovery for any other purpose.

“We strongly support securing the border with additional federal resources including tactical infrastructure, technology, ports of entry improvements and personnel,” they wrote. “However, we are strongly opposed to using funds appropriated by Congress for disaster relief and mitigation for Texas for any unintended purpose. As Texans continue to rebuild and prepare for future disasters, these funds, appropriated by Congress to be spent directly on rebuilding and mitigation, are critical to helping our communities recover, preventing future flooding and protecting our constituents.”

Additional cosigners include U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul (TX-10), Randy Weber (TX-14), Will Hurd (TX-23), Kevin Brady (TX-8), Pete Olson (TX-22), Lance Gooden (TX-5), Brian Babin (TX-36), Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Bill Flores (TX-17), Dan Crenshaw (TX-2), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7), Michael Conaway (TX-11), Roger Williams (TX-25), Kay Granger (TX-12), John Carter (TX-31), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29). 

The signed letter is here, and full text is below.

January 15, 2019

The Honorable Donald Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500 

Mr. President:

The widespread flooding, storm surges and high winds that resulted from Hurricane Harvey’s landfall (DR-4332) left many parts of the Texas coast paralyzed for months. Harvey leveled thousands of homes and businesses, altering many Texas communities forever.  This disaster required a massive, coordinated response at the state, local and federal levels to help individuals restore their lives to normal as quickly as possible.  Texas continues to rebuild through coordinated efforts at all levels of government and important work is underway to mitigate against future storms.

We – and the millions of Texas citizens we represent - remain thankful to the numerous federal agencies and first responders who coordinated and contributed resources and personnel.  Shortly after the rains subsided, Congress swiftly acted by passing three separate disaster supplemental bills, including the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123), which contained over $15 billion dollars for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects. 

Recent reports have indicated that your Administration is considering the use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funds, appropriated by Congress and intended for Hurricane Harvey recovery and mitigation efforts, in an effort to secure our southern border.  We strongly support securing the border with additional federal resources including tactical infrastructure, technology, ports of entry improvements and personnel. However, we are strongly opposed to using funds appropriated by Congress for disaster relief and mitigation for Texas for any unintended purpose.  As Texans continue to rebuild and prepare for future disasters, these funds, appropriated by Congress to be spent directly on rebuilding and mitigation, are critical to helping our communities recover, preventing future flooding and protecting our constituents.  Thank you for your commitment to help Texas respond to Hurricane Harvey and to secure the southern border.  We ask that you ensure necessary efforts on border security do not jeopardize long-term hurricane recovery and mitigation in Texas.

Sincerely,

/s/

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