Texas Is Closer To Getting $4 Billion For Harvey Recovery

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey surround homes in Port Arthur, Texas. Advocacy groups say Texas is poised to unfairly distribute $5 billion in federal funding provided for housing repairs following Hurricane Harvey, prioritizing wealthy homeowners over poor and working class victims in ways that could constitute racial discrimination. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Texas is getting closer to receiving $4.3 billion that Congress approved for post-Harvey rebuild and flood mitigation projects. The funds had been stalled because of federal bureaucracy but President Donald Trump has signed a bill that includes a provision requiring the Office of Management and Budget to release them by September 4.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn authored the provision, which starts a “shot clock” and OMB now has 90 days to release the funds.

In February 2018, Congress appropriated $28 billion in federal funds to rebuild housing and infrastructure and to mitigate against future storms as a response to Hurricane Harvey and other major storms that hit the United States in 2017.

Of that funding, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated $4.383 billion to Texas for mitigation purposes, but the state hasn’t received the money yet.

Earlier this year, Cornyn sent a letter to Russell Vought, the acting director of the OMB at the time, urging him to expedite the release of these funds.

One of the arguments Cornyn made was that Texas needed the money promptly because of the new hurricane season, which started on June 1.