The request for federal aid after Beryl opens rift between White House and Texas

HOUSTON — The damage left by Hurricane Beryl in Texas and requests for federal help has opened a rift between the White House and the state’s GOP leaders following the storm that pummeled the coast and knocked out power to millions of residents this week around Houston.

President Joe Biden said he tried tracking down Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — who has been in Asia on a trade mission since last week — to get the state to formally request a major disaster declaration that unlocks federal aid. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Biden also said he tried reaching Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has served as acting governor since Beryl made landfall Monday, before they eventually connected the next day.

Both Texas leaders have sharply pushed back on Biden’s version of events in the middle of a hurricane recovery that has left some coastal residents facing the possibility of days or weeks without electricity.

“I’ve been trying to track down the governor to see — I don’t have any authority to do that without a specific request from the governor,” Biden told the newspaper on Tuesday.

Abbott, in an interview from Japan on Wednesday with Austin

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