This week Texas has been devastated by a storm of historic proportions. Hurricane Harvey landed as a level 4 hurricane. It was the strongest one to hit the state since Carla in 1961. I was in Texas the following spring and the devastation was clearly visible. As if that wasn’t enough, the storm stayed put for several days dumping up to fifty inches of rain.
Rescue operations are still under way. Some are able to return to their homes and try to salvage what few possessions they can. Many have lost everything. Those homes outside of flood plains likely have no insurance.
This undoubtedly will be the most costly storm in our history. Insurance payments and charitable contributions will not begin to cover the loss. There is no alternative to the federal government allocating billions of dollars to make up the difference.
I would like to think that Congress will not play politics. Unfortunately that seems unlikely. After Hurricane Sandy, Democrats proposed $60 billion in spending with only a quarter going to relief efforts. Some Republicans insisted there could be no money until spending cuts were negotiated. I’m certainly in favor of fiscal restraint but the government must act in time of disaster. It’s clear that both sides were more concerned about political gamesmanship than helping those in need.
I sincerely hope that both parties get together and provide the necessary assistance. My fear is that, once again, politics will get in the way of what’s good for the country.