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View Full Version : Obama refuses disaster relief for TX wildfires


rockdawg21
05-04-2011, 07:41 PM
Reject your request for more funding to fight out of control wildfires and help those people rebuild their lives and businesses? Yes I can! :rolleyes:

http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2011/05/cornyn-blasts-obama-for-denying-perrys-texas-wildfire-aid-request/

John Cornyn, Rick Perry blast Obama for denying Texas wildfire aid request

The rhetorical wrangling between Texas Republicans and the Obama administration over the federal response to raging Texas wildfires became more contentious today when Sen. John Cornyn and Gov. Rick Perry blasted the White House for denying Texas’ request for a federal disaster declaration.

The Obama administration quickly responded that it has offered 22 different kinds of federal assistance to Texas in recent months.

Bottom line: Texas officials, caught in a state budget squeeze, want the federal government to send more aid to defray their costs. Federal officials, facing a record deficit, are being more selective in their use of “major disaster” declarations such as the one that followed the widespread devastation of Hurricane Ike or the recent Alabama tornadoes that killed hundreds of people.

Texas officials, including Perry, Cornyn and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, strongly believe that the feds are not doing enough.

“When nearly 7,000 individual wildfires burn through more than 2.2. million acres, result in loss of life, and destroy homes, businesses, farms and ranches across the state, it’s hard to understand how these conditions don’t spell ‘disaster’ for this administration,” Cornyn said this morning.

Cornyn and Hutchison yesterday sent a letter to Obama asking him to approve Perry’s previous request to declare Texas a disaster area. Their answer came swiftly: No.

“I am dismayed that this administration has denied Texans the much needed assistance they deserve,” Perry declared. “It is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency.”

Federal Emergency Management Administration spokeswoman Rachel Racusen says the administration has been working for months to aid Texas.

“This administration, through FEMA, has been working closely with the state throughout the duration of these fires, and we are supporting the firefighting efforts,” she said. “In fact, we have already approved 25 fire management assistance grants in recent to help cover expenses for these emergency response efforts, including 19 grants in April.”

Racusen said the administration believes “at this time” that the ongoing federal assistance to Texas is sufficient.

“Based on the information the state provided to FEMA through this process, it was determined that there was not a need for additional support at this time as the federal assistance is already being provided to Texas for response activities in the form of the Fire Management Assistance Grants,” she said.

Current federal aid covers 75 percent of Texas’s costs for emergency response work, such as evacuations, equipment, field camps and meals for firefighters, police barricading and traffic control. The agency’s regional office in Denton continues to monitor the situation and work closely with Texas Forest Service and Texas Division of Emergency Management, FEMA officials say. In addition, firefighting teams from more than 30 states have provided state-to-state support for firefighting efforts in Texas.

But FEMA’s response does not satisfy the Texas Republican officials.

“We’ve yet to enter the hottest months of the year and already wildfires have wreaked havoc in Texas –- yet our state has not received sufficient federal disaster aid,” Cornyn said. “I will not stop fighting until Texas receives its due attention from President Obama and his administration.”

Administration officials explain that fires are treated differently in disaster declarations than tornadoes or hurricanes because there are no no tornado or hurricane assistance management grants like there are for fires.

Perry recently suggested that Obama is pursuing a political vendetta against Texas, citing the Alabama tornado disaster declaration and the failure to make a similar declaration for Texas.

“Why are you taking care of Alabama, why are you taking care of other states, and for some reason,” Perry said Thursday at a news conference in San Antonio, pausing in midsentence before adding, “The letter didn’t get lost in the mail.”

After the latest rejection, Perry said the state will “look at all of our options” to obtain federal aid.

“Our state has become a model for the nation in disaster preparedness and response, but Texas is reaching its capacity to respond to these emergencies,” he said. “We will immediately look at all of our options, including appealing the denial, so Texans can receive the resources and support they need as wildfires continue to threaten life and property across our state.”

Despite state officials’ complaints, Racusen insists that the federal government continues to aid Texas.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and peers of the fallen firefighters in Texas, and the families and communities being impacted by these wildfires, and we continue to thank the firefighters and first responders who have been heroically working around the clock,” she said. “We will continue to work closely with the state and local emergency management officials as their efforts to contain these fires continue.”

BamaGrits84
05-04-2011, 07:48 PM
Politics at it best. Officials in a pissing contest while taxpayers get screwed.

KENTUCKYREDBONE
05-04-2011, 10:42 PM
He figures Texas will still vote against him!

rockdawg21
05-04-2011, 11:41 PM
He figures Texas will still vote against him!
Yes we can....errr....will!

Spiritwalker
05-05-2011, 04:29 PM
Yes we can....errr....will.....later!

Fixed that fer ya

Tyburn
05-07-2011, 09:38 PM
He figures Texas will still vote against him!

If he keeps going the way he is...Texas wont be elligable to vote in his Ellections.

They will be a Republic Again...all of their own.

Trust me...I dont think they are kidding around...IF Obama gets re-ellected...I fear for the Union :unsure-1:

REMY
05-08-2011, 05:17 PM
Dave...noone is leaving the Union. No one state can survive on their own especially one that borders both the ocean and Mexico and if they could they wouldn't leave...gotta remember this little thing called the U.S. Military.

KENTUCKYREDBONE
05-09-2011, 01:48 AM
If he keeps going the way he is...Texas wont be elligable to vote in his Ellections.

They will be a Republic Again...all of their own.

Trust me...I dont think they are kidding around...IF Obama gets re-ellected...I fear for the Union :unsure-1:

If we could the South would be very tempted to succeed again!