Speed Reads

now that's 'first hand'

Mike Pence gets his hands dirty during Texas visit, hauling away tree branches and surveying damage

Vice President Mike Pence traveled down to Texas on Thursday, where he helped clear debris from Hurricane Harvey. Donning a pair of blue work gloves in the steamy late-summer heat, Pence joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in hauling away tree branches as they surveyed the storm's devastating aftermath.

In a speech outside a church in Rockport, Texas, Pence discussed the mounting challenge of finding housing for the thousands of displaced victims. Pence said that federal emergency management officials have ordered another 4,000 manufactured homes, in addition to the 2,000 homes they've already brought to the region. "We promise you, we're going to stay with you every step until we bring southeast Texas back bigger and better than ever," Pence said.

Pence was joined on the trip by acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin.

When President Trump visited Texas on Tuesday, his "first hand" view of the "horror and devastation" was primarily gathered through meetings with state and federal officials. But the president is slated to return to Texas on Saturday, when he will supposedly meet with victims of the storm.