U.S. Congressman John Culberson
Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, I participated in two Appropriations Committee hearings on the Administration’s inadequate supplemental funding request for Hurricane Harvey. I have been working arm-in-arm with my colleagues in the Texas and Florida Congressional delegations to ensure that the disaster supplemental bill adequately compensates the good people of Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for the damage we have suffered.
On Thursday, the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee held an oversight hearing on the supplemental request for FEMA. The brand new FEMA Administrator Brock Long is an innovative, out of the box thinker who wants to restructure FEMA to get more money to disaster victims more quickly at the front-end of the rebuilding process rather than at the back-end. He instinctively trusts the good judgement of private property owners to be the best stewards of protecting their property by hiring their own contractors with minimal government interference.
I was pleased to hear of his commitment to a bottom-up, front-loaded recovery process that will speed up our recovery efforts. It’s going to take my help from the Appropriations Committee to help him achieve this goal and I’m committed to doing everything in my power to help him achieve his goal of a bottom-up, front-loaded recovery process that will help property owners be good stewards of the rebuilding of their own property.
On Friday, the House Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee held an oversight hearing on the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. I reminded Neal J. Rackleff, Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development (CPD) that Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Texas represents the largest housing disaster in the history of the country and that I’m leading an effort to ensure that the Texas and Florida Congressional delegations are working together to ensure our constituents receive the funds they need to rebuild and recover.
I also attended a meeting of the leaders of the Florida and Texas delegations where we agreed to stay unified and focused on increasing the dollar amount in this hurricane recovery package to be sure that Texas and Florida can recover and rebuild.
Additionally, I registered my very strong objections with the attempts Mr. Rackleff’s office is making to build the Fountain View project in Houston. The Mayor of Houston, City Council, many local elected officials, and good neighbors have expressed to me that they do not want this project. The Houston Housing Authority is proposing very precious, scarce, and hard earned tax money for a project that no one in the local community wants. To watch my comments on these matters, click here.
Please know that I will not stop until Texas is provided resources we need to rebuild from this terrible hurricane.
If you or someone you know needs help or resources to recover and rebuild from Hurricane Harvey, please visit my site here.