Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Leads Bipartisan Letter to Admin., Calling for Disaster Assistance to All Texas Counties

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), February 22, 2021

Laredo, TX—Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), along with Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11), led a bipartisan group of 27 members of the Texas Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to President Biden, urging him to approve Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Individual Assistance (IA) for all 254 counties in Texas.

All Texas counties have requested Individual Assistance (IA), yet 177 still remain under FEMA review. This is despite all 254 counties being eligible for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance.  The services provided through IA programs will help provide immediate relief to Texas families as they work to rebuild following last week’s historic winter storm.

“We fear that your initial Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declaration falls far short of the actual needs of our state and request the immediate approval of all 254 Texas counties for Individual Assistance,”  the Members wrote. “The services provided by FEMA’s Individual Assistance programs are essential to helping states and communities recover from disasters. Although the initial effects of this unprecedented winter storm are beginning to dissipate, the entire state continues to reel from the aftermath that has left millions without power, potable water, and dwindled food supplies”

Additional signatories include: Representatives Tony Gonzales, Ronny Jackson, Pat Fallon, Van Taylor, Joaquin Castro, Kevin Brady, Michael T. McCaul, Dan Crenshaw, Randy Weber, Al Green, Beth Van Duyne, Michael C. Burgess, M.D., Colin Allred, Lance Gooden, Pete Sessions, Roger Williams, Jodey Arrington, Sheila Jackson Lee, Louie Gohmert, Vicente Gonzalez, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Brian Babin, John Carter, Michael Cloud, and Kay Granger.

Full text of the letter is available here and below: 

President Biden:

Last week, many of us wrote to you requesting swift approval of Governor Abbott’s Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas and we thank you for your quick action in response. However, we fear that your initial Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declaration falls far short of the actual needs of our state and request the immediate approval of all 254 Texas counties for Individual Assistance.

The services provided by FEMA’s Individual Assistance programs are essential to helping states and communities recover from disasters. Although the initial effects of this unprecedented winter storm are beginning to dissipate, the entire state continues to reel from the aftermath that has left millions without power, potable water, and dwindled food supplies.

These continued challenges are impacting Texans from all background and ways of life. While the full assessment of the damage may not be known for many days or weeks, the current estimates are in the excess of $62 million. Given the magnitude, severity, and duration of the historic winter storm, it is assured the actual damage will far surpass the resources of our local communities.

The continued delay of FEMA Individual Assistance to all 254 counties, in the State of Texas, will only prolong the suffering of millions of Americans. Therefore, we respectfully request that you expeditiously approve this federal assistance for all Texas counties.