Biden plans to declare major disaster in Texas

President Joe Biden says he wants to visit Texas and plans to declare a "major disaster" in the state as soon as the paperwork gets to his desk. (Feb. 19)

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: I had a chance to speak with the governor again last night, and I asked him whether he was about to ask for another effort because the circumstances Texas finds itself in, whether he was going to seek additional assistance. And we talked-- I talked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, the administrator.

This afternoon I'm going to ask him to accelerate our response with request for, quote, it's a different declaration, a major disaster declaration, so that we can get everything done that we need that's possible to get done with federal government help.

FEMA is already there and providing support, generators, diesel fuel, water, blankets, and other supplies, but I've directed Health and Human Services, HHS, housing and urban development, US Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, to identify other resources, other resources that can provide and address the growing needs of the folks in Texas.

And so we're going to sign that declaration once it's in front of me, and, God willing, it will bring a lot of relief to a lot of Texans. It depends. The answer is yes. Question is, I had planned on being in Texas the middle of next week, but what I don't want to be is a burden. When the president lands in any city in America, it creates-- it has a long tail, and they're working like the devil to take care of their folks.

If, in fact, it's concluded that I can do without creating a burden for the folks on the ground while they're dealing with this crisis, I plan on going, but we'll know that-- we'll make that decision probably beginning next week, OK? Thank you.

REPORTER: Thank you. Have a good night. Thank you.