FEMA reverses on West Aid

A number of weeks ago, it came out that FEMA denied federal aid to West, TX after their fertilizer plant explosion. At the time, I wrote to express my shock and anger at this decision, as did nearly every Republican in this State. As expected, Governor Perry appealed the decision.

What, perhaps, was not so expected, was that the appeal was won. The Texas Tribune reports that FEMA has changed course, and then President Obama signed the emergency funding order. It was unclear immediately how much money the Federal Government would be appropriating for this, but I think somewhere in the ballpark of $17 Million.

What I am not expecting, however, is for Rick Perry, Greg Abbott and others to have a change-of-heart on this topic. In their minds, President Obama will still be seen as exacting political revenge upon a State which is a political enemy of his. That was definitely wrong of the President, but he has now reversed course. My only hope is that the Republicans in the State can now put the event behind them.

That is why I am writing this, even though it is significantly shorter than most of my other posts. Because it was a scandal when the aid was denied, but a backpage story when the appeal was sustained. This is my attempt to right that discrepancy.

FEMA denies aid to West

Unconscionable. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reaffirmed their decision to deny federal aid money to the victims of a explosion in West, TX. The Dallas Morning News reports that the White House has also affirmed this horrible decision.

Essentially, the fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people cost about $34 Million in cleanup. Half of that was already paid for by the Federal Government under an emergency declaration signed by President Obama. The remainder is what FEMA denied, ostensibly because the State could afford it themselves. Among the roughly $34 Million the West community requested, reports the Morning News, it is evenly split between repairing roads, pipes & sewers and rebuilding destroyed schools.

I have two things to say about this, besides the obvious condemnation of President Obama and his administration. First, our State does not have the money!  Yes, I know that we have a surplus this year, but Texas is just not a place that is quick to ever spend that kind of cash. The only way $17 Million dollars would be spent is if it were matched with cuts to things like education. Second, $17 Million is literally nothing to the Federal Government. Like, if the deficit were $100, than this would be worth less than a fifth of a penny. Especially for such a high-profile event of this, there is no good reason for the coffers of the Feds to suddenly close. I feel like this is a political move by the President, in apparent retaliation for things that Perry has said or done.

I do not think that President Obama is at a point where he would not stoop to the low level of making partisan moves with something as serious as this. That is what happens. Perhaps if some Democrats can actually condemn the President for this, we can see a change. Texas Leftist has more.