On Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reportedly sent a letter to Texas Governor Rick Perry to notify him that FEMA would not be providing federal emergency management aid for the West, Texas explosion that virtually destroyed the entire town. According to the Associated Press, the letter said that the explosion “is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration.”
FEMA has sent workers to West, Texas to help in initial aid, and FEMA has been slated to reimburse three quarters of local costs. But West has asked for an additional $57 million to cover repair and rebuilding costs, including millions for school rebuilding. The Hill speculates that FEMA denied the aid request because Texas has local money available for rebuilding, and because much of the property destroyed was private and insured.
President Obama did pledge right after the explosion to continue helping West. “To the families and neighbors grappling with unbearable loss – you are not alone,” he said. “You are not forgotten.”
Over the past several years, FEMA under Obama has repeatedly denied aid to red states in which disasters have occurred. In 2012, FEMA denied aid to Texas after disastrous wildfires, saying the state could take care of itself. “I am dismayed that this administration has denied Texans the much needed assistance they deserve,” Perry said at the time. “It is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency.” In 2011, Obama’s FEMA denied aid to Virginia after Gov. Bob McDonnell requested help after a series of tornadoes which killed ten people and destroyed 212 homes. FEMA also denied Hazard Mitigation Grant Program cash. That same year, FEMA denied New Jersey funds to recovery from a rain storm after Gov. Chris Christie requested assistance.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).