While taking federal cash for wildfires, Rick Perry complains: “Why are you taking care of Alabama?”

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), while taking millions in federal cash to combat epic wildfires, is now accusing President Obama of being overly generous to the victims of the catastrophic tornadoes in Alabama and neighboring states.  Brad Johnson has the story.

Perry, who has threatened to secede because of an “oppressive” federal government, is upset that the same government has not honored his request to declare an official state of emergency, but has done so for states like Alabama:

You have to ask, “Why are you taking care of Alabama and other states?” I know our letter didn’t get lost in the mail. There is a point in time where you say, “Hey, what’s going on here?”

Although a state of emergency has not been declared, a significant proportion of the cost of fighting the Texas wildfires is in fact being borne by the federal government Perry loves to scorn. Since February 27th, Texas has received 25 grants under the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program, which provides a 75 percent federal cost share. Texas is also receiving direct firefighting support from “several federal agencies, including the National Park Service,” Reuters reports. Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Holly Huffman informed ThinkProgress that of the estimated $58.9 million in firefighting costs from November 2010 to May 1, 2011 that the service is responsible for, they expect to get reimbursed almost $18.5 million from FEMA.

Although the Texas wildfires “” fueled by an historic drought that may become permanent in our warming world “” are incredible in scope, with over two million acres burned in 252 of the state’s 254 counties, only 900 buildings have been destroyed and the loss of life has been limited to that of two volunteer firefighters.

The nature of the tornado disaster is very different. Over 300 people were killed in Alabama and six other states in hours by some of the strongest storms this nation has ever seen, crippling communities and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power. “Whole neighborhoods of brick homes were completely leveled,” and “bodies of the deceased were still lying in open view, with medical teams unable to reach them because of the staggering amount of debris.” The National Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross, and other service and disaster relief organizations (including for-profit disaster contractors) are engaged in the multi-billion-dollar recovery effort.

One would think that Perry would applaud the federal government for being responsible with our limited national budget, constrained by the Tea Party ideologues he supports, and using those precious resources for those Americans most in need of emergency assistance.

— Brad Johnson, in a TP cross-post.

8 Responses to While taking federal cash for wildfires, Rick Perry complains: “Why are you taking care of Alabama?”

  1. Wit's End says:

    Let them secede!

  2. Don A in Pennsyltucky says:

    There are some good wines produced in Texas but Perry’s whine isn’t one of them.

    Step right up ladies and gentleman. See Rick Perry! He snivels, he whines, he crawls on his haunches like a Horned Frog.

  3. Robert In New Orleans says:

    So governor Goodhair, would like some cheese to go with your whine?

  4. TC says:

    There’s a big difference between the wildfires and tornadoes. Simply put, the life and (structural) property damage from the wildfires is 100% preventable – before and after the fire starts. You can actually throw money at a range fire like they’re seeing in Texas and either stop or prevent the property and life loss. You can’t do that with tornadoes.

    Fire prevention – in the case of wildfires, simple pre-treatment measures like defensible space and regulatory requirements for simple fire resistant construction (that does not add to the cost of building) can virtually eliminate the threat. And once the fire starts – especially in a large complex of fires burning for months like we’ve seen in Texas – moving federal resources there can either help control the fires or at least protect the homes and lives. You can’t do that with a tornado. Once it touches down, the damage is done. You can only help pay for the cleanup and rebuilding.

    Perry may be a scumbag, and everyone in Texas may snub the impact global warming is having on them today – but they still have a valid point about where federal resources are being used…

  5. Cinnamon Girl says:

    Meanwhile, the Texas leg is proposing a 30% cut in funds for the next two years for the state system that deals with fighting and preventing wildfires. It doesn’t appear that Perry is lobbying against that idea. On the bright side, he loves to dance the little sidestep…cut a little swath, and lead the people on.

  6. Barry says:

    Apparently Texas is unable to handle its own problems.

    Perhaps Governor “we can’t do it without the federal government” Perry should try a state tax cut for the wealthy to try to put the fires out. That seems to be the GOP answer to every problem.

    Or maybe Texans can try giving more taxpayer money to Big Oil? Or perhaps a big cut to government services?

    Something in that tiny bag of GOP solutions surely will do the trick.

  7. American_Idle says:

    Please declare Austin a federal disaster when you let Texas secede.

  8. Carla Hurst-Chandler says:

    It doesn’t take x-ray vision to see the hypocrisy here. Governor Perry has spoke out incessantly about what he has perceived as “over-interference in Texan’s lives” by the government. He waited until April to ask for a State of Emergency request. Texas has received 25 government grants and assistance with firefighters and equipment…as well as the 18.5 million projected to still be sent to assist. Reminds me of a surly teenager badmouthing you…then asking to borrow the car.

    Face it. If President turned water into wine the GOP would be on the air that evening complaining that he was an enabler.