The Houston Chronicle was underwhelmed yesterday by President Barack Obama’s declaring 45 counties in West Texas a federal disaster areas from wildfires that started back in April and has continued.
Stop the presses!
After months of wildfires that have scorched more than 1.2 million acres of the Lone Star State, President Obama today declared the state a “major disaster” area.
Gov. Rick Perry, the state’s Republican senators and GOP legislators in Austin and Washington have been hammering Obama since April, saying that the president was ignoring a crisis in Texas while responding to other disasters in Alabama, Missouri and elsewhere. Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel said the state did not qualify for “major disaster” status because fires are treated differently than other natural disasters. White House officials flatly denied any bias against Texas, as was alleged by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas, and Perry.
The Texas governor repeatedly filed requests for a presidential disaster declaration, even after Obama’s serial refusal to approve his requests. The White House announcement this afternoon came on the day Perry underwent minor back surgery.
The federal disaster declaration covered 45 counties, primarily in West Texas. The White House announcement said the new aid is designed “to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by wildfires during the period of April 6 to May 3, 2011.”
The only problem with the time frame is that the wildfires are still going on. I’m sure that Kentucky can relate to the President’s tardiness in disaster declarations. I’m also *sure* it has nothing whatsoever to do with the state the disaster is taking place in.
HT: Jim Hoft