House

Dem rep: Trump disaster aid request is 'how you let America down again'

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) on Friday blasted President Trump's latest request for disaster aid money, calling it a way to "let America down again."

Green tweeted that the $44 billion in additional aid requested by the White House on Friday for disaster-stricken areas like Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico fell far short of the $61 billion requested to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, which barreled across southeastern Texas in August.

"Mr. President, Texas requested $61B to support victims of Hurricane Harvey. How can you possibly think your $44B disaster aid request for all 2017 disasters in TX, FL, PR, & the VI is enough?" Green wrote. "This isn't how you make America Great again, this is how you let America down again."

The $44 billion is not the administration's final disaster aid request, according to a letter sent to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) by White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, who noted that "detailed damage assessments" are still being done for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Still, several lawmakers urged the White House to up its disaster aid request, arguing that $44 billion would not be enough to fully address the devastation wrought by a series of deadly hurricanes.

"The lights still aren't back on in Puerto Rico or USVI. To add insult to injury, the Administration failed to request adequate aid for the islands. Congress must fix," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted Friday.

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) said the White House's request for supplemental disaster funding lacked relief for citrus growers affected by Hurricane Irma in the Sunshine State, and announced that he would not support the request.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) did not outright criticize the White House request, but said he would review it to make sure his state received the funding it needs to recover from Harvey.

"I will carefully review [the Office of Management and Budget's] latest supplemental funding request, including its justifications for the proposed spending amounts," he said in a statement.

"However, the constitutional responsibility to appropriate funding resides with Congress, and I will continue to work closely with the entire Texas delegation to ensure our great state has the resources it needs to rebuild and come back stronger than ever." 

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