Vice President Mike Pence tours Harvey damage, meets with victims
Chris Kleponis/Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Texas to meet with victims of Hurricane Harvey Thursday and see first-hand the devastation left in its path.
The visit came just two days after President Trump visited Corpus Christi and Austin, meeting with state and local officials but forgoing any tour of damage or in-person meetings with those now homeless because of Harvey.
The vice president landed in Corpus Christi, near where the storm made landfall Friday night, alongside his wife, Karen Pence, and several Cabinet members, and travel to the town of Rockport. The small coastal city has a population of around 10,000 people and faced a direct hit from Harvey when it first made landfall, leveling some structures entirely.
“You’ve inspired the nation by your resilence and by your courage and we just came here to commend you and to encourage you and to assure you that we will be there,” Mike Pence told residents of Rockport.
Pence is not expected to visit or fly over the Houston area, where resources remain strained as rescue efforts continue amid disastrous flooding conditions.
The visit is just the latest in a full-court press by the Trump administration to show engagement in responding to the historic storm, as the president faces low job approval ratings.
Trump has said he plans to return to the region this weekend to visit Texas and Louisiana.
But a more significant task lies ahead as the administration considers how it will reach a deal with Congress to approve funding to support the state and local response.
Trump himself acknowledged the gravity of the situation in his Tuesday visit, telling officials in Austin, “Probably there’s never been anything so expensive in our country’s history.”
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