In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey devastating swathes of Texas, Hurricane Irma flooding much of Florida, and Hurricane Maria ravaging Puerto Rico, one Texas congressman said God has a message for those who live in flood-prone areas.
It’s probably time to move.
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican who represents the Dallas area, said the federal government is “encouraging and subsidizing people to live in harm’s way.”
While engaged in a thoughtful discussion about how to make flood insurance more effective and affordable, Hensarling let it slip that for those who live in hurricane-prone areas, “At some point, God is telling you to move.”
That apparently includes people in his own state (it should be noted that Hensarling’s district wasn’t adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey).
Hensarling cited people who live in Houston who have been flooded “three times in eight years” and a property in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, worth $60,000 that he said has been flooded more than 40 times and cost the taxpayers nearly $500,000 for it.
When asked if everybody in this country who purchases homeowner insurance should pay a little extra so flood insurance can be included on everybody’s policy, Hensarling also said it wasn’t fair to ask a Kansas factory worker to help subsidize a millionaire’s beachfront condo in Florida.
Yet, it was the “God is telling you to move” line that didn’t sit well with many on Twitter.
"Who's that?"— John Ferguson (@Fearguth) September 21, 2017
"It's Jeb Hensarling. God told him to move to where he'd be safe from hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, and earthquakes." pic.twitter.com/GL6RpXMZCx
@GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, At some point, God is telling you to pay attention to climate change. Are you listening?— Homeless Commando (@Guttergums) September 22, 2017
Hensarling voted against the $15 billion Hurricane Harvey package, a decision that prompted fellow Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul to call him “unconscionable.”
H/T Huffington Post