Lawmakers volunteer at NRG Center shelter; call for emergency funding

HOUSTON – State lawmakers came to Houston on Monday to volunteer at the NRG Center, which is currently serving as a shelter for Hurricane Harvey victims, and meet with those folks temporarily calling the convention center home.

Since NRG Center opened as a shelter to victims, they’ve had more than 5,000 people stay there.

As of 3 p.m. Monday, the shelter said 2,976 guests remain.

Lawmakers who visited NRG included U.S. senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and U.S. representatives Kevin Brady, Al Green, Ted Poe, Randy Weber, Pete Olson, John Culberson and Brian Babin.

Lawmakers held a news conference calling for Congress to pass emergency funding to aid with recovery.

“Texas, we will rebuild and we will come back stronger than ever,” said Senator Ted Cruz, (R) Texas.

“Wednesday morning, we will vote on the first relief package through the House, sending it to the Senate,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy. “What we want to do is make sure FEMA has the money going forward, as the cities and the counties assess the damage.”

The lawmakers held a moment of silence for people who died as a result of Harvey.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters that first responders who have worked tirelessly to help storm victims are also now in need of help.

“I’m hoping that as we move forward, that we can put in place an expedited registration recovery process for our first responders,” Mayor Turner said.

More than 300 Houston police officers have been displaced and so have at least 125 firefighters. There are many more displaced outside of the city.

By Anoushah Rasta

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