John Cornyn says Texas being stiff-armed on hurricane aid

Washington (CNN)Texas Sen. John Cornyn said Congress may not act on his state's $61 billion disaster assistance request this month, as he had hoped.

The second-ranking Senate Republican warned Wednesday that the emergency aid might get caught up in a complicated year-end government funding package that could jeopardize quick approval of the hurricane aid.
"We've gotten the Heisman of sorts," Cornyn told reporters, referring to the college football trophy in which a player holds his arm out. "We keep being told to wait, wait, wait."
The Heisman Trophy sits on a stand before a press confrence at the New York Marriott Marquis on December 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott was on Capitol Hill this week advocating for passage of the money to fund a major rebuilding of his state after it was seriously damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
    Cornyn said he was worried that if talks break down over the year-end funding package and just a short-term spending bill -- known as a continuing resolution or CR -- is passed to fund the government for just a few months, the disaster aid language could fall by the wayside.
    "Now it looks like it will be part of this year-end omnibus, which if there are too many things added to it, will collapse under its own weight and we'll end up with a CR, which means no disaster funding will be added," Cornyn said.
    A senior Senate Republican aide told CNN that the White House has not yet submitted a disaster aid request but that it was expected by mid-November.
    Cornyn defended the robust size of the aid package for Texas, which does not include money for other areas hit by recent natural disasters.
    "It's a big state and it was a terrible event," he said. "But I think it's a starting place."
    Abbott has said such a large sum is needed because Hurricane Harvey was comparable in its destruction to both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy combined.