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Biden says he may travel to Texas next week in wake of devastating storms

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 66.2%. 2 min read.

President Joe Biden said on Friday that he plans to travel to Texas but does not want a presidential trip to put any additional strain on a state grappling with an extreme weather crisis.

(CNN)President Joe Biden said on Friday that he plans to travel to Texas but does not want a presidential trip to put any additional strain on a state grappling with an extreme weather crisis.

"The answer is yes," Biden said when asked if he would travel to Texas after he addressed the Munich Security Conference.

"If, in fact, it's concluded that I can do it without creating a burden for the folks on the ground while they are dealing with this crisis, I plan on going," Biden said.

Biden said he had spoken with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, on Thursday night.

The President said he would ask acting-Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Bob Fenton on Friday afternoon to accelerate its response to the request from Abbott for a major disaster declaration.

Biden said he had directed the US Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Defense to identify "other resources that can provide and address the growing needs of the folks in Texas. "

The White House said Friday that throughout the week it had been in touch with mayors and county officials throughout Texas to ensure they were connected with FEMA for any immediate needs.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that Biden had been receiving updates about Texas and the surrounding states impacted by the bad weather more than once a day.

"Ensuring that the people of Texas, the people of the surrounding states have the resources they need is something that he raises in meetings frequently and has over the past couple of days," Psaki said at the briefing.

She said the President has directed his team to "make rapid decisions and be responsive to the specific needs of the states as they come up during this difficult time. "

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