Sen. Ted Cruz and his family flew to Cancun, Mexico, as a winter disaster in his home state left millions without power or water, according to photos posted on social media and confirmed to CNN by a person familiar with the travel itinerary.
Multiple Twitter users posted photos showing Cruz and his family at Houston’s airport and aboard a flight bound for Cancun, Mexico. The same person familiar with the trip confirmed to CNN that Cruz is booked on a flight from Cancun back to Houston on Thursday afternoon.
The trip was immediately criticized, including by Texas state Rep. Gene Wu, a Democrat representing southwest Houston, who tweeted a photo of Cruz aboard a flight, saying Cruz was flying south “while the state was freezing to death and having to boil water.”
CNN has repeatedly reached out to Cruz’s office and people in his orbit late Wednesday night and Thursday morning but they did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Congress is not in session this week following the President’s Day holiday.
Cruz, who was retweeting notices about electricity and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday, has been silent on social media Thursday.
As an official elected to federal office, Cruz doesn’t have an on-the-ground role in the response to the storm, but natural disasters are often a time in which constituents often reach out to their elected officials for help and access to resources.
The blame for the outages has largely been placed on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
Abbott said Wednesday afternoon that he spoke with both the lieutenant governor and the state speaker and that an investigation of ERCOT is slated to begin next week.
But in the meantime, millions of Texans were left without power or running water in the wake of the storm. Power is slowly being restored to homes.
Since last Thursday, 16 Texans have died due to the extreme weather, according to a CNN tally.