WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz flew home from Mexico Thursday, amid outrage over his trip during a crisis-level storm in Texas — explaining he was only chaperoning his daughters and their friends on the flight.
The Republican lawmaker was seen getting back on a plane to the US on Thursday afternoon and issued a statement explaining that was not on a vacation himself, but was accompanying his daughters, aged 12 and 10, on a flight to theirs.
“This has been an infuriating week for Texans,” Cruz wrote in a statement.
“The greatest state in the greatest country in the world has been without power. We have food lines, gas lines, and people sleeping at the neighbors’ house. Our homes are freezing and our lights are out too. Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power, too,” he wrote.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” he added.
“We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe.”
Cruz is expected to land in Houston at 3:47 p.m. local time.
The powerful storm left more than 3.4 million people without power on Wednesday as freezing temperatures wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid and froze pipes. At least 30 people have died.
Photographs of Cruz boarding a flight to the popular vacation spot began circulating on social media on Wednesday night as the Lone Star State prepared for its fourth day without heating or safe drinking water.
Texans have been forced to huddle in furniture stores and warming shelters while at least two hospitals in Austin were evacuated when they were left without water and heat on Tuesday night.
A woman and child died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Houston when they sat in an attached garage while a car was running because there was no heat in their home, authorities said.
The historically frigid temperatures pummelled the state’s power grid forcing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), a cooperative responsible for 90 percent of the state’s electricity, to institute rolling blackouts.