The destruction and havoc that Hurricane Harvey wreaked has left Texans reeling from disaster. The aftermath of the hurricane is still being assessed even as people down in Florida and the Caribbean Sea plan for another potentially dangerous Category 5 hurricane. It is a very difficult situation for the response teams trying to provide aid and assistance to the ongoing crisis. One of the few positive takeaways is that the hurricane response efforts provide a temporary lull in the nasty political banter that never seems to end. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has made it clear that the issue in Texas is completely bipartisan, calling for Congress to set aside their differences and address the relief efforts.
This sentiment was definitely shown to be making an impact when the president sided with the Democratic leaders, Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi, in a bill aimed at aiding the relief efforts. Does it provide a blueprint for the president and other Republicans to work with the other side on tax reform, the budget, or even immigration reform. In light of the recent announcement on the reversal of the Obama administration’s DACA policy, it is almost certain that the policy’s fate in Congress will be unknown for a lengthy period of time. Sadly, even a couple of destructive hurricanes will allow for relations to be smoothed over in Congress. However, as more Republicans become sour on the president and continue to fight his agenda, it does raise the chances of those same members standing with their Democratic colleagues.
Relief operations in Texas will have to be redirected to the coast of Florida and the surrounding area in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Despite the challenges of continually delivering aid, it is often forgotten how fortunate the U.S. is to have an adequate infrastructure system. In many other countries such as the Philippines, the lack of adequate roads for transportation slows down the response time significantly. With the combination of various relief organizations, federal funding, FEMA, adequate infrastructure, and the resources of the Navy. Can it all be put together to form multiple cohesive response teams? Thankfully, that is not under the jurisdiction of Congress to decide. it is good to know that bipartisan cooperation cannot be entirely dead.