During the devastating winter storm, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took his family on a vacation to Cancun, Mexico, while millions of Texans were without power and access to clean water, according to CBS news.
However, under pressure, he changed his return ticket and came back later that day, "calling the decision to leave his state during a crisis a 'mistake.'"
Texas GOP Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs committee, rebuked Cruz, saying, "Look, when a crisis hits my state, I'm there. I'm not going to go on some vacation."
As of Thursday evening, at least 34 deaths were attributed to the storm, 20 of the victims were from Texas, and more than 350,000 residents were still without power.
"Ted Cruz jetting off to Mexico while Texans remain dying in the cold isn't surprising but it is deeply disturbing and disappointing," said Gilberto Hinojosa, the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party. "We are in a battle for the soul of our state. We must restore ethics, competence, and a government that works for the people."
Meanwhile, through social media and email requests, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) raised $2 million for direct relief in Texas in less than 24 hours, and just a couple of days later the total was over $5 million.
AOC noted, "Texans have been left to deal with the devastating consequences of an unchecked climate crisis due to a lack of preparedness and failed state leadership, and a lack of investment in clean energy infrastructure...The whole country needs to rally together behind the needs of Texans all across this state. That's the New York spirit, that's the Texas spirit, and that's the American spirit."
Alexandria joined Reps. Sylvia Garcia, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Al Green at the Houston Food Bank, filling food boxes. They also helped deliver water and visited the homes of impacted Texans. The food bank was working to get 30,000 meal boxes out within 48 hours.
McCaul said, "I think it's great that they're crossing party lines to help Americans first, and not just Republican or Democrats...And I think that's, you know, the way it really should be."
[Note: on Monday morning the title of this article was changed from "While Cruz Escapes to Cancun, AOC Comes to Texas' Aid with Nearly $5M" to "While Cruz Escapes to Cancun, AOC Comes to Texas' Aid with Over $5M" to reflect the most current information.]
Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)