Last Friday the U.S. House of Representatives sent a $15.3 billion Harvey aid bill to President Trump, who signed it into law. While the measure passed the house by an overwhelming majority, among the 20 “nay” votes were four Texas representatives
“When I had people dying and hurting in my home state, it was my duty and moral obligation to help them,” he said. “I felt that vote was a vote of conscience to help people in my home state, and also now in Florida.”
The four representatives who voted against the bill were Joe Barton of Ennis, Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, Sam Johnson of Richardson and Mac Thornberry of Clarendon. None of them represent counties that were part of FEMA’s disaster declaration after Harvey.
Republican opponents of the bill say they were opposed to a three-month raising of the debt ceiling that was tied to the bill. But McCaul disagreed with that.
“What do you do in that choice? Do you just stand on principle and vote no – and I question that principle, – or do you vote to help people back in your home state?”
Congress is expected to vote on a larger Harvey aid package later this year.
By now, the rebuilding phase has begun in Houston after Harvey’s floodwaters damaged homes. But some residents are wondering whether it’s worth it to rebuild at all – or if it’s time to try to sell.
Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin reports:
Nancy Haight bought her house in Braeswood Place not long after it was flooded by Tropical Storm Allison. It flooded again in the Memorial Day flood of 2015. Now, Harvey put 40 inches of water in her house. As you can imagine, this is not helpful for the home value.
“It’s only worth lot value… I lost about $300,000 the day it flooded.”
So what’s she going to do?
“What I’d like to do is tear it down and build up six feet, because the people that are six feet up didn’t get it in their house.”
She’s also considering selling but worries that nobody will buy it. Her neighbor, Ritchie Wilson, is in a similar situation. Her current plan is to stay after getting her home repaired. She knows she doesn’t want to raise it.
“I just don’t think I feel up to that at my age. I would rather move and buy something already permanent where I could stay.”
Retired San Antonio Spur Tim Duncan has pledged his help in rebuilding the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by Hurricane Irma. In an impassioned plea online, the former power forward asked for donations to help rebuild the islands he grew up on.
Duncan also pledged a $250,000 donation immediately, and said he would match donations up to the first million.
By Sunday, that first million goal was met. Later, the website – You Caring – raised that goal to $2.1 million.