Cruz, Cornyn back Texas gov's request for disaster declaration

Cruz, Cornyn back Texas gov's request for disaster declaration
© Greg Nash

Republican Texas Sens. John CornynJohn CornynNew GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Week ahead: Senators near deal to stabilize ObamaCare markets GOP eying 'blue slip' break to help Trump fill the courts MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE pressed President Trump in a letter on Friday to grant Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) request for a major disaster declaration for the state as Hurricane Harvey nears its coast. 

“Given the potential catastrophic impact that the Hurricane may have on Texas communities, we strongly support this request and urge you to provide any and all emergency protective measures available by a major disaster declaration,” the senators said. 

Harvey is expected to be the first Category 3 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005 and the first to hit Texas since 1999. 

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The pair voted against a disaster relief package after Hurricane Sandy slammed the U.S. east coast in 2013, causing severe damage to the region. 

Cruz said at the time he voted against the package because it was filled with spending that was unrelated to storm relief.

"Emergency relief for the families who are suffering from this natural disaster should not be used as a Christmas tree for billions in unrelated spending, including projects such as Smithsonian repairs, upgrades to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration airplanes, and more funding for Head Start," he said at the time.

Cornyn did not vote for the Sandy aid package at the time, citing unrelated spending, but has voted for Sandy aid.

Cruz was supportive of federal funding after damaging floods left 15 people dead in Texas in 2015. 

Trump said he has been in touch with Abbott, as well as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), saying in a tweet on Friday he is ready to provide federal assistance "as needed." 

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Friday the sustained winds and heavy rain Harvey brings will make for "a very dangerous situation" in southeastern Texas.

"Let's set the expectations. Texas is about to have a very significant disaster, and we have to let people know that," Long said.

This story was updated at 5:33 p.m.