Days after declaring a state of emergency amid massive winter storms throughout the State of Texas, President Joe Biden appears set to actually visit the scene.
According to recent reports, Biden is planning to make one of his first official trips as commander in chief to survey the result of weather that has ravaged much of the Lone Star State over the past week.
“To supplement state and local response efforts”
The storms have caused life-threatening problems in a state ill-equipped to handle exceptionally cold snaps.
Dozens of people have already died in the state as a result of exposure to the elements, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other weather-related issues.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott expressed gratitude for Biden’s emergency declaration, which authorized “federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a severe winter storm beginning on February 11, and continuing.”
In subsequent days, however, Biden has been largely silent on the situation aside from a few tweets on Thursday.
“Tonight, I called Governor Greg Abbott to discuss the ongoing situation in Texas and identify ways we can support the state’s recovery from this storm,” he wrote in one post. “I made clear to the Governor that I’ll work relentlessly to get his state what they need.”
“Ready to fulfill additional requests”
He went on to assert that he and first lady Jill Biden “are keeping Texas, Oklahoma, and other impacted states” in their prayers, adding that his administration has “declared states of emergency, authorized FEMA to provide generators and supplies,” and remains “ready to fulfill additional requests.”
On Friday, he said he would like to schedule a trip to Texas at some point in the following week, but only if doing so would not create “a burden” for those living in the area and addressing the state’s current needs.
In a move later the same day, Biden approved a major emergency declaration for 77 Texas counties — a far cry from Abbott’s request to label all the state’s 254 counties as such.
Nevertheless, the governor said Biden’s move represented “an important first step” in securing the federal assistance necessary to address the issues his state faces.
“Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need,” Abbott said. “The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”