Congressional Harvey Task Force at Work

A car is submerged on a freeway flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, near downtown Houston, Texas. The remnants of Hurricane Harvey sent devastating floods pouring into Houston on Sunday as rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By Bill O’Neil

A Hurricane Harvey recovery task force is hoping to soon see those efforts in Houston for itself.

The goal of the bi-partisan group is pretty simple according to its co-chair.

“What do we need to do to as members of Congress to work with local and state officials” San Antonio Democrat Henry Cuellar told KTSA News, adding “Certainly we want to make sure that we serve as a one stop shop to provide for anybody that needs assistance.”

Cuellar, who chairs the task force with Republican Joe Barton said he has been in contact with Governor Greg Abbott and Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, who is serving as recovery czar on the state level.

Ahead of a vote Thursday on several tax relief programs for Harvey victims, Cuellar said the task force has a very specific role at the federal level.

“It’s going to take time (the recovery), it could be years. We’ve just got to make sure we keep focused on this” the Congressman said, admitting it will be a very expensive recovery as well.

“Just the estimates in Texas… you’re talking about billions and billions and billions of dollars. Of course, we’re adding this to the deficit right now, so just keep in mind somebody later on is going to start saying how are we going to pay for this?” Cuellar said.



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