Two months after the storm hit, Trump still hasn't stepped up to the plate — and Republicans aren't holding back.
Republican lawmakers in Texas are blasting the Trump administration’s new disaster relief request, calling it “wholly inadequate” and a “nightmare” for hurricane victims.
The $44 billion request, submitted Friday, falls far short of what officials say is needed to help rebuild from the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
The request “does not live up” to what Trump pledged in recovery aid, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday.
Abbott called the request “completely inadequate” and noted that the Obama administration had worked faster to deal with Superstorm Sandy in 2012 than the Trump administration has for Harvey.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn echoed Abbott’s criticism, calling the aid request “wholly inadequate.” He was joined by a host of other Texas lawmakers, who slammed Trump’s response as “insufficient and unacceptable.”
Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 storm, causing an estimated $180 billion in damage. That makes Harvey the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history, except for Hurricane Katrina.
At the storm’s peak on Sept. 1, a third of Houston was underwater. By the time the water receded, Harvey had severely damaged about 203,000 homes, of which 12,700 were destroyed.
Eighty two people died in the storm and its aftermath.
Harvey was one of the first big tests of Trump’s presidency — a test he failed miserably. When the hurricane hit, the Trump administration was woefully understaffed to confront it, with no director at the Federal Emergency Management Agency or administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in place.
To make matters worse, just days before the storm hit, Trump obliterated an Obama-era policy that helped state and local governments prepare for catastrophic flooding. Afterwards, as hurricane victims were picking up the pieces of their lives, Trump used the opportunity to promote a line of hats in his online store.
Two months later, Trump still hasn’t stepped up to the plate.
Houston Rep. John Culberson, a Republican member of the appropriations committee, said Trump’s inadequate response shows a “complete lack of understanding of the fundamental needs of Texans.”
Culberson called the insufficient aid request a “nightmare” for Harvey survivors, adding:
“Thankfully, Congress funds the government — not OMB [the Office of Management and Budget].”
Contrary to Trump’s campaign promise that “I alone can fix it,” he seems decidedly incapable of doing so, and entirely uninterested in even trying.