Texas- Cruz Steps Out While Other Politicians Step In

Madeline Mack, News and Feature Editor

Texas is continuing to feel the effects of the historic Arctic storms the state experienced this past week.

Many Texans now have power but are staring down a growing water crisis due to the storm’s damage to pipes and disruption to water treatment facilities. 

Sixteen Texans have reportedly died from the storm, meanwhile, some politicians have stepped out while others have stepped up to respond to the crisis.

Texas senator, Ted Cruz, decided to leave the state he represents and escape the storm on Wednesday, Feb. 17, flying to Cancun, Mexico. After receiving backlash from his constituents, along with others across the nation, he ended his trip early returning home Thursday, Feb. 18, night

Since returning to Texas, Cruz stated that he regretted departing Texas.

 “[Leaving] was obviously a mistake” and “in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” he said.

During this time, other politicians got involved with the Texas crisis, doing what they could to help. 

Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez launched a fundraising campaign which as of Friday, Feb. 19, had raised $2 million to aid Texans hardest hit by the storms.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez posts to Instagram while waiting on her flight to Houston. She is flying to Texas to help distribute supplies alongside her colleague, Texas Representative Sylvia Garcia. (Photo Taken by Madeline Mack)

Cortez was heartened by the large number of donations given to her fundraiser and tweeted her thoughts on it.

“Thank you all so much. Folded hands I’m at a loss for words. Always in awe of movement work.”

Cortez announced that she would be flying to Houston in order to help distribute supplies alongside her colleague, Texas Representative Sylvia Garcia. 

Beto O’Rourke, former Texas Representative who unsuccessfully ran against Cruz in the 2018 U.S. Senate race also got to work. O’Rourke organized a phone bank that reached out to senior citizens in Texas. The goal of the phone bank was to connect the elderly to resource services that could aid them while the crisis unfolded.

O’Rourke viewed the phone bank as a huge success and tweeted about the outcome of the event.

“BIG THANKS to the volunteers who made over 784,000 phone calls to senior citizens in Texas today. You helped to connect them with water, food, transportation, and shelter. And you made sure that they knew we were thinking about them and that they matter to us.”

Cruz’s colleague and fellow Texas Senator, John Cornyn took to social media. He used Twitter to deliver information to his constituents about what they should do in order to help guide them through the disaster.

Relief efforts continue in Texas as residents are still struggling to cope with the lack of resources despite the warming weather. 

As much of the nation continues to face extreme winter weather, 58 people nationwide have reportedly died due to hazardous conditions.