Congressman Al Green Joins Texas Colleagues to Express Their Concerns About President Trump’s Consideration for Diverting Disaster Relief Funds to a Border Wall

Jan 18, 2019

(Houston, TX) - On Thursday, January 17, 2019, Congressman Al Green and 9 of his colleagues: Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34), Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), and Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33), sent the following letter to President Trump expressing concerns about diverting disaster relief funds to pay for a border wall:  

Mr. President:

We write to you not as Democrats but as Texans who represent millions of Americans whose lives were forever changed by Hurricane Harvey (DR-4332). This historic storm inundated Houston with record-breaking rainfall and destructive flooding, left thousands without a home, cost an estimated $125 billion, and took the lives of at least 88 Texans. Simply put, Hurricane Harvey had an unprecedented impact on our districts and our State, and it has required the government to expend unprecedented resources to allow for a proper recovery. Even with the extensive response at all levels of government, however, many Texans are still struggling to return their lives to normal.

In recognition of the scale of the disasters that occurred in 2017, Congress passed the largest supplemental disaster appropriations in history. For many cities affected by 2017 natural disasters, and in particular Houston, this critical funding included over $15 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This funding was appropriated by Congress with the explicit intention of supporting recovery and mitigation efforts in places affected by disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.

It is because this funding is so important to cities like Houston that we write to you. We are deeply concerned by reports that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was instructed to examine whether disaster relief funding could be used for construction of a wall along the southern border. Regardless of our positions on border security and a border wall, we are unified in our view that under no circumstances should disaster funding be diverted for any other purpose. We urge you to reject any proposal that endangers our communities as they continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey and prepare for the next storm.