Big Thicket Messenger - Local News
Stories Added - September 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Hutchinson joins with “Team Texas”
Big Thicket Messenger - September 2008

At a Capitol Hill press conference n Tuesday, September 16, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), Texas’ senior Senator, joined with seven members of the Texas Congressional delegation to coordinate their joint efforts to secure federal funding for the recovery from Hurricane Ike before the end of September.

Senator Hutchinson was joined by Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Al Green (D-Texas), and Gee Green (D-Texas), whose districts were directly impacted by the hurricane. Also in attendance were Texas Congressman Chet Edwards (D-Texas), Kay Granger (R-Texas), John Carter (R-Texas), and Ciro Rodriquez (D-Texas), all of whom serve on the House Appropriations Committee.

Representative Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) was in Texas in the hurricane zone.

All the members of Congress stressed their resolve in delivering federal funding for recovery efforts from Hurricane Ike before Congress adjourns for the election season.

“I have just come from Galveston and Houston and the whole area that has been devastated by the storm,” said Senator Hutchinson. “The damage is going to be enormous. The damage to the navigation equipment, the ports in Galveston and Houston, all throughout the Gulf Coast, will be out of commission for probably a couple of weeks if we’re lucky. We have oil refineries down. Galveston not only doesn’t have power, it doesn’t have potable water or operating sewer facilities either.”

“Our Texas delegation has already come together to start planning for the supplemental that will be needed to help us through Ike. We are here working on a package that we will all support that will help this disaster recovery fee our great state. All of us here have signed a letter the President asking him to extend the hundred percent reimbursements for debris removal. It had been in place for 72 hours and he has extended that to two weeks. That is going to be very helpful to the area affected, knowing that they will be able to get reimbursement for extra costs of removing trees from the streets, boats from the causeway and all through Galveston, and also taking the trees off power lines. The key to getting power back to the 2 million residents who still don’t have it.”

Senator Hutchinson noted that Texas could contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visiting http.//www.FEMAEvacHotels.com.

Senator Hutchinson, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, also indicated that she would work to attach disaster funding for Hurricane Ike recovery to the Continuing Resolution (C.R.). the C.R. is a broad spending measure that will be considered on the Senate floor this working season. Damage assessments are starting to come in from the state and federal agencies who are conducting them.





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