Texas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request

Texas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request
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A slew of Republican Texas officials ripped the White House's most recent disaster aid request on Friday, as the state works to recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey. 

The White House is requesting roughly $44 billion in additional aid from Congress for Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida and other disaster-stricken areas, however, the amount is less than what officials from some of the affected areas were hoping to see.

"What was offered up by Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyPoll: Majority disapproves of Trump's military parade plan Mulvaney travels to Middle East: report Pentagon concerns mounting about Trump’s proposed parade: report MORE and [his Office of Management and Budget (OMB)] is completely inadequate for the needs of the state of Texas and I believe does not live up to what the president wants to achieve," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said at a news conference on Friday. 


"The president has told me privately what he's said publicly, and that is that he wants to be the builder president," he continued. "The president has said that he wants this to be the best recovery from a disaster ever."

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (R-Texas) said he was "not satisfied" with the request, dubbing it "wholly inadequate," while Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE (R-Texas) said he would review the request and push to "ensure our great state has the resources it needs to rebuild and come back stronger than ever." 

Rep. John CulbersonJohn Abney CulbersonHouse Republicans add 5 members to incumbent protection program Record number of scientists running for office in 2018 Crowded primaries loom in Texas House races MORE (R-Texas), whose district encompasses a large potion of Houston, which suffered from catastrophic flooding after the storm, said the request shows a "complete lack of understanding of the fundamental needs of Texans."

"Thankfully, Congress funds the government — not OMB. I will work tirelessly with my colleagues to fix this," Culberson said.

Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulWhite House blames 'Schumer Democrats' for defeat of Trump immigration plan Overnight Cybersecurity: House Intel votes to release Dem countermemo | Hacking threats loom over 2018 Olympics | Booz Allen scores major DHS cyber contract McCain, Coons immigration bill sparks Trump backlash MORE (R-Texas) voiced his displeasure with the request, calling it “insufficient and unacceptable" in a statement.

“We stand together opposed to this level of funding and will continue to fight to help Texas rebuild,” a group of Houston-area Republicans said in a statement.

Texas officials are not the only group upset about the request. Rep. Dennis RossDennis Alan RossHouse Dem opposition mounts to budget deal Overnight Finance: Senate leaders agree to two-year budget deal | Fiscal hawks revolt | Pelosi wants assurances on immigration | Trump calls stock sell-off a 'big mistake' | Lawmakers push Trump to preserve NAFTA Right revolts on budget deal MORE (R-Fla.) said he would not support the request because it lacked relief for citrus growers affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (D-N.Y.) also blasted the request on Twitter. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the request on Friday and called for Texas to contribute more money in the process. 

“Up until this point, Texas has not put any state dollars into this process,” Sanders said.

“We feel strongly that they should step up and play a role and work with the federal government in this process. We did a thorough assessment and that was completed and this was the number that we put forward to Congress today.”

Harvey brought heavy winds and catastrophic flooding to large swaths of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana in August, while Florida was pummeled by Hurricane Irma in September. 

Virtually the entire island of Puerto Rico was also left without power in September after Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory.