On Wednesday, the House easily approved nearly $8 billion in short-term funds for areas hit by Hurricane Harvey. Meanwhile, members of the Texas congressional delegation from both parties are working together to direct more federal money to the Gulf Coast, and to influence the way they are spent.
This week’s short-term funding measure quickly became a part of a deal between President Donald Trump and House and Senate Democratic leaders that would tie the relief funds to raising the debt ceiling, and keeping the federal government funded. And that’s not sitting well with many Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, Texas Republicans and Democrats are meeting this week to discuss further storm relief. Abby Livingston, Washington Bureau Chief for the Texas Tribune, says a bipartisan meeting of Texas lawmakers is a highly unusual event.
“We’re seeing several very overt acts of bipartisanship,” Livingston says.
The delegation meets Thursday, followed by a news conference featuring Houston-area lawmakers from both parties.
Livingston says the spirit of bipartisanship among Texas Republicans and Democrats is sincere.
“This feels quite a bit like 9/11,” she says. “This is a shock to a society, a huge major metropolitan area with many members of Congress. Even the members themselves – some of them have been trapped in their own homes.”
Written by Shelly Brisbin.