Texans: you are in America’s hearts & prayers. Aid is coming w/out delay. The recovery requires a bold response at all levels of government. pic.twitter.com/zlQRLiSTDV— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) September 21, 2017
HOUSTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) praised the bravery of everyday Texans in a visit to survey damage from Hurricane Harvey and convey Congress’s commitment to the rebuilding effort underway.
"I just want to say how impressed I am with this Texas delegation. This Texas delegation is so focused on making sure that the aid is brought—that recovery occurs." Speaker Ryan said at a press conference here with a bipartisan Houston congressional delegation. "But the thing I'm most impressed with, I've got to tell you, are Texans. . . . with the spirit that we see here. People who are ready to rebuild and recover. And so the reason we're here on this bipartisan delegation with people from around Congress is to make sure Texans know that you are in our hearts and our prayers—that aid is coming, that we will be doing more to make sure that we can respond to this disaster."
Speaker Ryan arrived in Houston on Wednesday evening after completing an all-day tour of areas in Florida hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. Earlier this month, Congress acted quickly on an initial relief package for the response to the storms.
On Wednesday evening, Speaker Ryan met with Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) at Coast Guard Sector Houston to discuss Harvey rebuilding priorities. Following the meeting, they had dinner with local law enforcement officials, county judges, and emergency managers. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner took part in the dinner. It was a chance to hear directly from leaders on the ground about what the area is going through right now.
This morning, Speaker Ryan and a bipartisan House delegation met at Coast Guard Air Station Houston for an operational briefing on recovery efforts. The briefing included FEMA, Texas National Guard, and Harris County Flood Control District officials. The delegation then embarked on an aerial tour of Army Corps of Engineers projects affected by the storm.
Back on the ground, the delegation traveled to the Friendswood neighborhood, where they helped clean out storm-damaged homes as part of a Team Rubicon project. Team Rubicon is a disaster relief organization founded by military veterans that has been vital to rebuilding efforts.
During his visit, Speaker Ryan was joined by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). House members in the delegation included:
· House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-TX)
· House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
· House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX)
· House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter (R-TX)
· House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson (R-TX)
· Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)
· Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
· Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
· Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)
· Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
· Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
· Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)
In the face of devastating hurricanes, the people of Florida and Texas have shown incredible spirit and unity. All of America is with them. pic.twitter.com/SCgSAz2feo— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) September 21, 2017