In today’s society, it’s not difficult to make anything, and everything, political. It’s become common practice to take even the most benign of subjects and ruin it by attaching it to partisan politics.
Natural disasters, however, seem to provide a sense of unity, heroism, and healing. This is even the case for two politicians, a Republican and a Democrat, who differ deeply on many issues. Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee are both Texans, however. Lee represents Houston, one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey.
The two Texas politicians held a joint-press conference at a shelter in Houston on Wednesday, where the focus was bi-partisanship, not something ordinarily stressed in Washington, D.C.
While the recovery efforts are far from over, Cruz expressed relief to “wake up this morning and see blue skies.” He spoke with a sense of optimism and confidence as he let the crowd know “we will rebuild and we will be stronger,” also thanking “the incredible public servants that are gathered here today and united and standing as one.”
Jackson’s main point was “to emphasize…this is a bi-partisan effort,” as she echoed Cruz’s points and shared how she had received phone calls from Republican and Democratic politicians, noting specifically Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). She stressed that Ryan had said “there will not be one light of difference… in getting the funding we need here in this area.”
Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner was also present, who has made it clear that Texas needs federal aid in order to rebuilt. Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott has also called for such federal funding.
Complicated issues may remain after the storm effort clears, as “most” victims of Harvey may not have the proper insurance needed to cover all the damage. Banks are planning to allow for forbearance to assist residents trying to pay off the damage.
Vice-Present Mike Pence gave assurances of federal aid while doing a recent telephone interview with “the Rush Limbaugh Show,” and estimated about 500,000 Americans would qualify.
Aid is not only coming from the federal government, but from President Donald Trump’s personal finances. He has pledged $1 million of his own money in order to help Texas.
What bi-partisanship efforts exist in today’s divided political landscape are a welcome relief as Congress decides how best to provide relief to the victims.