White House Rejects Federal Disaster Status for Texas Wildfires...
Gov. Rick Perry said late Tuesday night that the White House rejected his request for a federal major disaster declaration for areas of Texas affected by recent wildfires, but FEMA says they've already provided Texas assistance.
In a statement, Perry said he was "dismayed" by the rejection earlier in the day.
"It is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency," he said.
FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Racusen told the Associated Press on Wednesday that federal assistance already has been provided to Texas through grants for response activities. She said, based on information provided by the state, there was not a need for additional support at this time......Perry said the state would consider its options, which include an appeal of the denial.
The governor isn't alone in his fight for funds for Texas. Twice in the past month U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison have written to the Administration urging them to honor Perry's request.
“When nearly 7,000 individual wildfires burn through more than 2.2. million acres, result in loss of life, and destroy homes, businesses, farms and ranches across the state, it’s hard to understand how these conditions don’t spell ‘disaster’ for this Administration," said Cornyn on Wednesday.
"We’ve yet to enter the hottest months of the year and already wildfires have wreaked havoc in Texas – yet our state has not received sufficient federal disaster aid. I will not stop fighting until Texas receives its due attention from President Obama and his Administration.”