Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume pointed out that after five years of inexperienced leadership, FEMA has become “tiny,” “little,” and “weak.”
Of course, according to Hume, that’s because “the governors want it that way.”
Actually, Hume has it exactly wrong. State and local officials have been complaining about the lack of federal support for years:
The Bush administration’s distance from local disaster-relief officials is by design. From the moment Bush stepped into office, he’s been determined to move away from the coordinated state/local/federal disaster-relief approach used by Clinton…State and local disaster-relief officials have been complaining about the lack of federal involvement in emergency response for some time. Trina Sheets, the executive director of the National Emergency Management Association, which represents local emergency personnel, told Salon that “since the Department of Homeland Security was established there has been a steady degradation of the capabilities.” Local officials protested earlier this year, when the Department of Homeland Security proposed an internal reorganization that would officially absolve FEMA of its disaster-preparedness functions and instead hand disaster relief to a new agency.