AOC raises $3m for Texans hit by deep freeze – days after state’s own senator flew to Mexico

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has raised more than $3m (£2.1m) for Texans struggling with recent extreme weather in the state.

The Democrat Congresswoman from New York announced the landmark on Twitter on Saturday after travelling to Houston to help the recovery effort.

Hundreds of thousands of Texans have been struggling with the fallout of a winter storm that has crippled the state’s power grid and left many without power for days, prompting President Joe Biden to approve a major disaster declaration for the state.

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Brutal hardship for Texas residents

Seven million residents – a quarter of the state’s population – have been told to boil water before drinking it and in other places water is having to be delivered after days of record low temperatures damaged infrastructure and froze pipes.

At least 46 people have died across the 10 states affected by the extreme weather, most of them in Texas, which is not accustomed to such temperatures.

The action by the Biden administration makes federal funding available to affected individuals, including assistance for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans.

The president is also weighing a trip to Texas to survey the federal response to the first new crisis to develop since he took office last month.

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Ms Ocasio-Cortez has said the money she has raised will go to 12 food banks and relief organisations

“Charity isn’t always a replacement for good governance, but we won’t turn away from helping people in need when things hit the fan,” she wrote on Twitter.

The first $1m was raised in less than a day and the total had already topped $2m on Friday, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that the response left her “totally blown away”.

During her time in Houston, the congresswoman will meet colleague and Texas Democrat Sylvia Garcia to distribute supplies and raise awareness.

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Texas: Senator sorry for storm trip

It comes after the state’s own Republican senator, Ted Cruz, drew heavy criticism for flying to Mexico with his family while the people he represents grappled with power outages and water supply issues.

In a statement, the senator said he was “wanting to be a good dad” by flying with his daughters as they went on a holiday while school was cancelled and the power was out – adding that he was flying back on Thursday afternoon.

“Look, it was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” he later said.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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