The New York lawmaker said she was flying to the battered state on Friday

By Virginia Chamlee
February 19, 2021 03:39 PM
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
| Credit: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Friday that she would be flying to Texas that day, having helped raise more than $2 million for relief organizations in the state at the epicenter of a deadly winter storm.

On Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez, 31, wrote that she would meet with Houston Rep. Sylvia Garcia once in Texas to "distribute supplies and help amplify needs & solutions" amid the crisis brought on by a severe winter storm.

In another tweet, the lawmaker seemed to nod to differences with Texas' Republican-controlled statehouse and legislature, writing, "Charity isn't a replacement for good governance, but we won't turn away from helping people in need when things hit the fan."

Texas was pummeled this week by winter weather that largely incapacitated the state's power grid, forcing blackouts and leaving millions without electricity and heat.

Dozens of deaths have been linked to the storm.

Though the power problems largely rested with the gas production in the state, experts say, some Texas conservatives (including Gov. Greg Abbott) shifted the blame to liberal policies like the renewable energy championed in Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" proposal.

In a press conference this week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) — which operates the state's power grid — said that the bulk of the problem could be attributed to natural gas and coal, not wind turbines or solar energy, the Associated Press reported.

Ocasio-Cortez lambasted Abbott for his remarks, saying the power disruptions in Texas were due to the governor's "own failures."

"I go offline a few days and return to a GOP Gov blaming policies he hasn't even implemented for his own failures," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. "Gov. Abbott doesn't seem to have a grasp on his state, so here's a reminder: Texas runs 80-90% on fossil fuels. The real 'deadly deal' is his failed leadership."

Beginning on Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez has been soliciting donations for Texas via Act Blue, where funds are being split between a dozen organizations, including Feeding Texas, Family Eldercare and the Houston Food Bank.

Some social users noted the contrast between Ocasio-Cortez's work in Texas and that of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who faced widespread controversy after taking a flight to Cancún, Mexico, on Wednesday.

After photos surfaced on social media revealing that the congressman was leaving Texas, he returned to his home state, telling reporters that the short-lived vacation was "a mistake."