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Cornyn Blasts ‘Bureaucrats’ For Delaying Post-Harvey Funding

The senator, Governor Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz and several members of the Texas congressional delegation, are asking the federal government to speed up the process.

. Scott Applewhite/AP
U.S. Senator John Cornyn.

John Cornyn, the Senate’s number 2 Republican, is blasting the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for failing to release nearly $4.4 billion in recovery funding to Texas after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Cornyn, who is the Majority Whip, says he has repeatedly met with federal officials and is “running out of patience” with OMB.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Cornyn said “they’ve kind of run out of excuses,” and added “they just need to let that money go. It’s been long enough.”

In February 2018, Congress approved $4.383 billion in federal grants meant to encourage post-Harvey rebuilding in ways that can help resist future large hurricanes.

But federal guidelines and other rules allowing the grants to flow haven’t yet been set. “I don’t want the bureaucrats at OMB to hold it up,” said Cornyn.

Along with the other senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, Governor Greg Abbott and members of the Texas congressional delegation, Cornyn signed a letter sent Monday to OMB Acting Director Russell Vought urging him to expedite issuing the rules and regulations for Community Development Block and Disaster Recovery Grants.

As Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush also noted recently, issuing those rules and regulations in the Federal Register is an indispensable step in the process by which Texas can receive the funds that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated for flood mitigation projects to prevent future storm damage.

The letter notes that Texas' "ability to move forward on projects that will mitigate against future disasters, and the need for future federal disaster assistance, is stalled."

Additional cosigners of the letter include U.S. Representatives Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7), Pete Olson (TX-22), Al Green (TX-9), Randy Weber (TX-14), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Brian Babin (TX-36), Michael Cloud (TX-27), and Dan Crenshaw (TX-2).

You can read the letter here:

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