Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina Disaster Shows Republicans' True Colors

Let's remind the folks out there that Republicans control the White House and the Congress and the entire Administration (including FEMA, and the Army Corps of Engineers).

It took a crisis like this to not only show the Republican's true colors when it comes to its treatment of minorities. But it also reveals the terrible Republican record on emergency funding during the Bushpresidencyy.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert commented that the entire city of new Orleans should be "bulldozed." Funny, I can't remember Dennis Haster responding that way when floods occur in his own state of Illinois or in his Congressional District along the Mississippi River. But then again, Hastert doesn't have a high percentage of African Americans in his district.

Army Corps

The President offered a FY 2002 budget with a 16.9% cut (from 2001) to the Army Corps of Engineers budget (Heather Wilson, Steve Pearce voted for this) (link). News media is starting to reveal Louisiana's Congressional Delegation's long time plight to fund the Corps of Engineers to repair the Levees in New Orleans. The Congressional members representing New Orleans are democrats and it's not surprising that a Republican President and a Republican Congress failed to hear their cries.


The President offered a FY 2002 budget with a 20.2% cut (from 2001) in the Federal Emergency Management Administration (Heather Wilson, Steve Pearce supported this) (link)

The President's cuts in FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers (among other agencies) allowed for huge tax cuts, supported by the Republicans in New Mexico's Congressional delegation.

Watch Heather Wilson scramble to try to show she's doing something about this disaster after voting for cuts in the budgets of important emergency agencies over the last 4 years. (link) She has some explaining to do.

Her support for the President is her Achilles heel. Let' see if any dem takes advantage of it.


Blogger Colfax Observer said...

Amen, well said. I hope some credable candidate steps up to challenge her. Many Democrats had to vote for her in order for her to win.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Political Guru said...

It would be nice if you got your facts straight.

Heather did not automatically support the cuts to FEMA, much less the President's budget. Congress does not vote on the President's budget (again, a detail that someone who pretends to understand politics and claim that a Member of Congress supported particular cuts should be well informed enough to know.)

Secondly, Heather has supported supplemental funding to FEMA as the situation changed.

Finally, if you would have read both sides of the story, you would realize that the Department of Homeland Security took parts of FEMA. Responsibilities changed so the FEMA of 1999 is not charged with the same duties as the FEMA of 2005. A "cut" was partially caused by the new situation with the Department of Homeland Security.

Please, in the future, do your homework before you claim to be an expert on politics and make statements that are uneducated and false.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Tom Bailey's New Mexico Politics said...

Ha! Nice try.

The President gives his budget to congress an the Republicans in the House (usually) introduce it with few changes. Gee, you're so smart, I dare you to tell us how much of a cut in FEMA Heather voted for. Instead of 19% was it 17%? Also, amigo, this cut in the budget occured years before the creation of the homeland security department. S0, it actually had nothing to do with the creation of the new department. It had to do with tax cuts. Period. Republicans, especially Heather, have a lot of explaining to do!

Supplimental appropriations for the department are nice and they certainly help. Were these appropriations she voted for the same ones that went right into her husband's pockets through FEMA contracts?

7:52 PM  
Blogger Political Guru said...

I believe the budget for FEMA has nearly doubled form $3.9 billion to $6.8 billion under Bush ( I need more time to confirm those numbers.) I believe that when people talk about “cuts” it is because of supplemental appropriation funding to FEMA to address specific emergencies (normally hurricanes in Florida or wildfires.) If you do the math, a $4 billion budget supplemented with $2 billion for a specific emergency isn’t really $6 billion, although people trying to mislead will then say that the $4.5 billion budget the next year is a “cut.”

Also, again (I hate having to repeatedly correct you but I feel I must), Congress does not vote on the President's budget. If you look at the budget Congress votes on, it has no accounts, has different priorities, and is nothing like the President’s budget. . It is a "big basket" and the only numbers that have any force of law are the total spending and total revenues. The only force those numbers have is a point of order in the Senate (you need 60 votes instead of 51 votes.) It also allows reconciliation that also can pass with 51 votes in the Senate instead 60.

There is no account for FEMA in the Congressional budget. You can't even do an amendment to increase FEMA spending in the budget because there isn’t a place to do so. Look at a Congressional Budget resolution and request a CRS report that details the budget process.

Obviously, it had nothing to do with tax cuts because the account has gone up so much. Maybe this will surprise you, but nothing like FEMA ever gets cut in DC, even when it should. Connecting tax cuts and Iraq to FEMA can only be done by people who have no idea how this stuff really works. Your objectivity is pretty much nil when your source of information is the Democratic budget committee website.

You talk big but bring a small stick to this table...

12:21 PM  
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