Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday admitted he traveled to with his family this week as residents of his home state are left to endure the heavy winter storm that has left millions without power.
The Republican senator released a statement saying he went to Mexico with his family after his daughters asked to go on a trip with friends as schools in the state were shut down for the week.
“Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz said after news of the trip broke, according to the Associated Press.
“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” Cruz said. “We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”
Texas has been hit by a snow blizzard of historic proportions, with sub-zero temperatures leaving an estimated 3.4 million people without electricity and water for days and leading, so far, to at least 36 deaths, according to the New York Post.
According to local reports, among the reported incidents caused by the storm was a fire in Sugar Land, Texas, in a house that was left without power, leading to the death of four people, the Post reported.
The bodies of two people were found on the streets of Houston this week, whose deaths authorities believe might have been caused by the extreme cold.
The government said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was sending food supplies and blankets, as well as generators and diesel fuel to help restore power in key areas.
Heavy snow and extremely low temperatures are expected to impact over 20 states in the coming days.
Cruz’s trip drew criticism from some Texas Republicans.
Asked if the senator’s trip was ill-timed given the struggles of his constituents, Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West said: “That’s something that he has to answer to his constituents about.”
“I’m here trying to take care of my family and look after my friends and others that are still without power,” West said, per the AP. “That’s my focus.”
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Author: Damjan Tutarkov
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