Should President Obama Issue Disaster Declaration For Texas?

Remember last week when Governor Rick Perry voiced his frustration that President Barack Obama helped the victims of tornado ravaged Alabama before helping Texans dealing with wildfires?

It’s been several weeks since Perry asked President Obama to issue a disaster declaration so Texans who lost their homes and other property could quality for federal aid.

The governor’s request has been ignored. Today U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Senator John Cornyn are trying to turn up the heat on President Obama. 


Sens. Hutchison, Cornyn Call On President Obama To Issue Declaration Disaster As Texans Battle Devastating Fires  

 (News Release)

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, R-Texas, today sent the following letter to President Barack Obama urging him to immediately issue a federal disaster declaration for Texas in light of the nearly 7,000 wildfires the state has experienced since the beginning of this year.


May 3, 2011


The President

The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

 Dear President Obama:

 We are writing to express our concern regarding the Administration’s inaction on the state of Texas’ request for a federal disaster declaration due to current and recent wildfires.  On April 18, 2011, we wrote to Administrator Fugate regarding our constituents and their struggle to combat and control the wildfires that have engulfed large portions of Texas.  We ask for your swift intervention into this matter that greatly influences our State’s ability to respond to and mitigate these devastating fires.

 Since the beginning of this year, almost 7,000 individual wildfires have burned more than 2.2 million acres.  This has resulted in the destruction of homes, businesses, farms and ranches, and the death of two brave firefighters.  Due to the heroic actions of first responders from across the State and from across the country, countless lives, property and communities have been saved.  This grueling work has imposed a tremendous physical and financial strain on all involved.  The importance of reducing this burden cannot be overstated.  

With efforts underway to stop the advance and extinguish multiple wildfires across Texas, it is paramount that the State and localities receive the vital resources and funding required to fully support their work.  While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued numerous Fire Management Assistance Declarations, the Administration still has not acted upon the State’s request for a federal disaster declaration and made available Category B (Emergency Protective Services) through FEMA’s Public Assistance program.  We ask that you approve and issue a federal disaster declaration to provide our distressed constituents, communities and the State with the necessary financial resources to continue to combat these fires.    

We appreciate your efforts to address the concerns of all Texans on this issue, and we will continue to work with you and the administration on this matter. 


 KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON                                                                 JOHN CORNYN

United States Senator                                                                             United States Senator          



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