Trump’s Reaction to Hurricane Harvey

On Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey made its first landfall on Texas with the center of the storm crossing the coastline by 10 p.m. Scientists at the National Hurricane Center predicted 40 inches of rain to fall. A category 4 hurricane, Harvey caused flooding and destruction to many major cities such as Houston and Galveston. Nine people have died so far due directly to the hurricane, while hundreds were displaced from their homes.

In reaction to the storm, President Donald Trump traveled to Corpus Christi to meet with hurricane victims, rescue teams and officials on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Officials say that Trump wanted to visit the affected areas as soon as possible once he heard that Harvey would make landfall. After meeting with officials in Corpus Christi with state and federal officials, Trump flew to Texas to meet with officials about responding to flooding. Throughout his time in the affected areas he did not tour families or communities, but met with emergency and rescue personnel. 

After returning to Washington from Texas, Trump pledged to donate $1 million of his personal fortune to relief efforts. The donation will be the largest ever made by a sitting president. Many Texans are happy to receive such a donation, especially from a president that the majority of citizens in the state supported in the general election. However, some political observers remain skeptical whether the donation will be sent, citing the past records of the Trump Foundation.

President Trump is also asking Congress to provide $7.9 billion in emergency spending to help Texas and Louisiana to recover. The request would add $7.4 billion dollars to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which has recently been scrambling for funding due to budget cuts, and would add $450 million to finance disaster loans for small businesses. The increases in spending are a stark difference from Trump’s original plan to reduce government spending, and Republicans fear that increased spending would impede their goal of reducing the budget deficit.

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