Ted Cruz in League City

Sen. Ted Cruz commends local leaders’ ongoing Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts during a news conference in League City on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Cruz came to receive an update about the county’s hurricane recovery efforts.

KELSEY WALLING/The Daily News

Here we are in the middle of January, approaching five months after Hurricane Harvey came ashore — flooding tens of thousands of homes and businesses — and the federal government has yet to approve the $81 billion disaster aid package to help Texas and other places in the United States hit by natural disasters in 2017.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz visited Galveston County on Saturday and praised local leaders for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. He also hopes to pass a third disaster relief bill before the money gets entangled in Washington policy battles.

“In December, I gave a speech urging senators to take action,” Cruz said. “But the decision was made to hold it until January and there are ongoing negotiations.”

“My hope is that disaster relief is not caught up in the mess and we can pass it with bipartisan support,” Cruz said.

Excuse us if sound bites like that only infuriate us more. Those flooded were voters from all walks of life — Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Party affiliations be damned, we need you to take action.

While we appreciate Sen. Cruz’s visit, what he is not seeing is how county residents came together in a time of need to help each other. No one was required to present a party affiliation card, asked what house of religion you attended or even if you had water damage. No, people from all walks of life stopped what they were doing to either dig out or go find a way to help someone in need. With floodwaters rising, party colors bled into one — the faces of people in need and they didn’t care who came to help them.

In the past weeks, we’ve talked to people with trailers parked in their yard, which they can’t use because the basic utilities are yet to be in place. We’ve heard from frustrated homeowners dealing with FEMA and instead chose to go it alone and at their expense. And, as of this past week, only a handful of homes are approaching completion.

Businesses, while slowly reopening, are facing a slow thaw as residents continue to understand the new normal in the wake of Harvey. Post-Harvey, many are saying, could take a decade to fully recover.

To our friends in Washington, D.C., it is not business as usual here in Galveston County. Not even close. Get to work and put your party politics aside. Help us move forward. What we can promise you is, come election time, we will remember how you responded in our time of great need.

• Leonard Woolsey

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

President & Publisher of The Galveston County Daily News.

(8) comments

Chris Tucker

Mr. Woolsey you are spot on! I encourage you to crank up GDN machine and bring as much pressure you can possible generate on our elected officials. Perhaps a Town Hall meeting where ALL of our local, regional, state and national elected officials are invited to attend?

Walter Manuel

It appears that the government is dragging their feet in hopes that those affected by hurricane Harvey will find a way on their own to recover and make repairs without the government needing to dole out any money themselves.

Just look at Puerto Rico to see just how slow their recovery has been and will be despite them being treated like they are a third world country despite being a part of the US.

Perhaps the longer the process is drawn out, the better the opportunity for thieves to make fraudulent FEMA claims like the guy who felt "entitled" to make and receive a $9,000 claim against one of my mother's rental properties that the guy has never lived in, but simply knew the tenant who resides there.

More and more you hear about people making fraudulent claims and receiving money that they are not owed, while the people who really need the money have to wait on Washington DC law makers to "discuss it" when it fits into their schedules.

Something is definitely wrong with the way our government tends to handle their business.

PD Hyatt

You are correct about 1 thing Mr. Manuel.... It seems as if some are getting money like they hit the lottery while many others wait.... We had flood insurance and of course depending upon the adjuster you got depended upon how bad you were hurt when you got your check.... If you were one who needed to get a SBA loan on top of your insurance claim you needed to have much patient as those people do not care what your problem is and they take their own sweet time in responding to you. Government is not what anyone would call efficient as they do not seem to have to respond to requests for help except in a very slow manner.... Sort of like getting ANY of our congress critters to respond to the problems that we are having down here.... I have written all three of them and only have received 1 response that was not a canned response....
Time to drain the swamp in D.C.

PD Hyatt

One of the biggest problems that is happening in Washington D.C. is D.A.C.A. and the wall.... Some on a particular side and some RINO's are dragging their feet until they get open borders without any security.... But I see that reporting and investigation does not go hand and hand anymore just like truth does not get reported.... One has to wonder about reporters and the media in today's society....

Diane Turski

2018 is an election year!! This is our opportunity to replace anyone (including Cruz) who we feel has been too busy representing his own ambitions rather than representing the best interests of his constituents. Elections have consequences! Vote for candidates who will represent us in Washington DC this time!

Carol Dean

Mr. Woolsey, regardless of whether you like it or not...Politics and Party Affiliations will always be an integral part of life in the USA.

Gary Miller

Trump has made some progress in reducing the "Political Elected Swamp" but the worst problem is the unelected bureaucratic swamp. Reforming the bureaucratic swamp isn't something Presidents can do as long as lobbyists keep financing bureaucrats. It's up to voters to elect the kind of politicians who will reduce the influence of lobbyists.

Carol Dean

"Touche'"

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