Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Texas House Members Urge Senate Action On Harvey Relief

February 2, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday several members of the Texas delegation wrote a letter to Senate leadership urging quick action on a third emergency supplemental spending bill to provide critical relief to impacted areas and the people who have been living in temporary shelter in the State of Texas since Hurricane Harvey made landfall last August. The House has acted to provide critical funds for Texas and the other states and territories damaged by the devastating hurricane season of 2017. The Senate must do so as well.  A joint statement from Reps. Pete Olson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Randy Weber, Filemon Vela, Brian Babin, Gene Green, Blake Farenthold , Al Green, John Culberson, Michael McCaul, Ted Poe & Kevin Brady is below:

“The House has acted to provide critical funds to continue the recovery process for the states and territories that were devastated by the vicious hurricane season last year. Yet, the Senate has failed to take the critical steps needed to keep the promise made by our government in August when the State of Texas was under water due to Hurricane Harvey. We have waited for the Senate to act, but our constituents cannot wait any longer.”

Text of the joint letter:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell                                                                   The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Majority Leader                                                                                                 Minority Leader
U.S. Senate                                                                                                          U.S. Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building                                                                 322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510                                                                                 Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer,

As you know, last August the State of Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey - one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. The devastation wrought on the Texas Gulf Coast and the greater Houston area not only took the lives of 88 Texans, but also caused an estimated $125 billion or more in damage to the areas we represent.

In the wake of this tragedy, Congress has passed two small emergency supplemental spending bills designed to begin the recovery process with a promise of a larger package to help not only Texas, but other states and territories equally ravaged by a damaging hurricane season. As promised, the House of Representatives did its part and passed a third emergency supplemental, aimed at providing additional relief for areas impacted by the 2017 hurricane season and the wildfires in California. This bill was sent to the Senate for consideration in December.

We are now entering February with no action by the U.S. Senate. We write asking for prompt consideration of this third supplemental. We have constituents who after almost six months, remain in transitional housing and homes that lack weatherization as Texas remains in the grip of an unusually cold winter. It is past time for Congress to act. It is also important to note that while Hurricane Harvey was the worst offender; the region has faced catastrophic flooding for three years in a row. We cannot continue to wait to begin work on critical flood control projects that will protect not only the residents who live in this region, but the taxpayers who pay for costly disaster recovery that can be avoided in the future if we invest in needed infrastructure now.

We represent not only one of the most populous regions of the nation, but also the energy capital for America. The region is further home to the largest tonnage port in America and Strategic Ports of Embarkation for key military units. The failure to adequately fund resiliency and reconstruction along the Texas Gulf Coast and the greater Houston area not only puts the lives of our constituents at risk, but also jeopardizes both our energy and national security.

We understand that the Senate has been consumed of late with issues of national importance.  However, this third supplemental is a non-partisan matter and critical to the lives and livelihoods of our constituents and the nation at large. Therefore, we thank you in advance for moving to pass this supplemental and continuing the necessary work of responding to the 2017 storm season.

Very respectfully,

Reps. Pete Olson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Randy Weber, Filemon Vela, Brian Babin, Gene Green, Blake Farenthold , Al Green, John Culberson, Michael McCaul, Ted Poe, Kevin Brady

Cc: The Honorable Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Cc: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives

Media Contact: Melissa Kelly