Texas Gov. Rick Perry's request denied
May 4th, 2011
05:52 PM ET
4 years ago

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's request denied

(CNN)- Gov. Rick Perry continued his tirade against President Obama late Tuesday, when the administration's decision to deny his request for a disaster declaration for the state of Texas was finalized.

Perry requested a declaration from the president in mid-April to clear the way for federal funding and assist in state efforts to fight wildfires that have burned over 2.2 million acres of land.

"I am dismayed that this administration has denied Texans the much needed assistance they deserve," Perry said, in a statement. "It is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency."

And for Perry, the issue may not be settled.

"We will immediately look at all of our options, including appealing the denial, so Texans can receive the resources and support they need as wildfires continue to threaten life and property across our state," he continued.

The Republican governor, who's made no secret of his displeasure with President Obama in the past, went on to list actions that state government has taken to aid residents in distress including deploying Texas Forest Service personnel to assist with multiple fires, Texas Military Forces to help with fire suppression, and the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.

Perry sought additional federal assistance through a Major Disaster Declaration which must be approved by the president.

But, while the request was being reviewed, the state wasn't exactly left in the lurch.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved 25 fire management assistance grants in April, specifically designed to support firefighting efforts. They cover 75 percent of the state's emergency response work for each fire, according to FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Racusen who objected to Perry's claims of neglect in a statement Wednesday.

"This administration, through FEMA, has been working closely with the state throughout the duration of these fires, and we are supporting the firefighting efforts," she said.

"Based on the information the state provided to FEMA through this process, it was determined that there was not a need for additional support at this time as the federal assistance is already being provided to Texas for response activities in the form of the Fire Management Assistance Grants."

By federal law, requests for disaster declarations are reviewed based on whether needs of the state are beyond what state and local governments can handle. But Perry insists a disaster declaration is imperative to his state's ability to battle wildfires. And according to FEMA, it is not.

With Perry's threat to appeal, the fight could be prolonged. But Racusen promised, "We will continue to work closely with the state and local emergency management officials as their efforts to contain these fires continue."


Filed under: President Obama • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. John

    Use your rainy day fund moron! Where were you when US THE UNEMPOLYED IN TEXAS needed a continuation of unemployment benefits? You turned down the federal money!

    May 4, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Bill

    You wanted to secede from the United States Bozo, so figure it out without the federal government's help.

    May 4, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. lynn

    Ya-Hoo Perry, you gave the U.S. your middle finger salute and we give it back to you, full force. So when are you succeeding from the Union, sooner than later I hope. All you want is our money, then vilify us, check it at the door loser.

    May 4, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Thankfully Independent

    Spending cuts + smaller government = less to go around. This is what you wanted Ricky. Now be a man, stop whining, and cope with it.

    May 4, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. Bob Texas

    Perry should not get Federal Funds for this state. He has done nothing but bash the Federal Government and its spending.

    May 4, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  6. Dave

    Isn't this the same Texas governor who proposed seceding from the union? Now he wants help. I wonder if he can spell and knows the definition of hypocrit?

    May 4, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. Davis Todd

    Ha ha ha... losing that government check kinda hurts, huh?

    May 4, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. JB

    Obama didn't win Texas and he knows he never will so he refuses to help them. So many of you idiots think he's great and the other half of us thinkhe is dumb. i can' wait for 2012. Get rid of Obama. He can't see past anything that doesn't go his way.

    May 4, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. vet in texas

    Perry, you've already been re-elected based on your lies to our faithful blind following convservatives, why keep lying. last week I looked on the FEMA site and saw your lies....all 25 of them. Stop it please and continue to hid the billions you've already stolen from my beloved state.

    May 4, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. Pat

    I thought Governor Perry thought all federal funds were bad and states should take care of their own business?

    May 4, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. Beverly - NYC

    Rick Perryt he Governor of Texas, wants aid from the federal government, surely this story is an error. It's this the same governor who vowed to succeed. After a long day I needed a good laugh. Maybe the Koch brothers will help you out Rick.
    Perfect picture,pouting like a 2year old not used to hearing NO!!

    May 4, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. peggysue

    I live in TX and we have received a lot of help from the Feds to fight the fires. It seems to me help for the victims of the tornados is much greater than any additional help we need to fight fires. Where I live we have gotten a lot of rain and the risk of additional fires is low.

    May 4, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Jake

    hypocrisy and double standards!!

    May 4, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. anotherGDlefty

    C'mon Rick, man up. Sounds like the Feds say you can handle it so handle it you secessionist whiner.

    Burned grass, barns and some dead cattle pale in comparison to what's happening in other neighboring states.

    May 4, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. Neil

    I agree with the Obama administration! For months I have listened to Gov. Perry complain about how Texas would be better off if it left the union. Well... now he wants federal help. Let him stew for a time. Don't mess with Texas didn't work so well this time.

    May 4, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    "I am dismayed that this administration has denied Texans the much needed assistance they deserve,"

    They got exactly what they deserved...

    May 4, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. rhumba

    So, Governor Perry, how you gonna spin this one? The president's giving you lots of federal help, but you want more, more, more. Looks like President Obama's been listening to you and doesn't want you to feel like the federal government's stomping on your state's rights. Too much federal money might make Texans lazy.

    May 4, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Jo Jo

    How does the saying go, "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar". After all the negative comments made against President Obama and his administration, he now expect a handout? I thought he was against BIG government interference? Wow, he's fighting for government assistance. How ironic, laughable and hypocritical.

    May 4, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Russ

    Hey Rick, maybe you get the point. We don't like Texas. Go ahead and proceed with your withdrawal from the Union. That's what you wanted. Why should you get help for Obama the way you bad mouth the government. Wouldn't taking their money be "more government control" and be socialistic? You can't have it both ways. You only want their help when it effects you and the hell with everyone else.

    May 4, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Ex-GOP Con

    Really? There's an irony that a GOP is asking for federal assistance after decrying that government is too big!

    Bill White should have been governor. White knew how to govern and make government work. He certainly also would have tried alot harder and lobbied harder to get us the shuttle. Perry...you suck! Pray on that!

    May 4, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Daniel

    This goofball didn't want federal stimulus funds but now cries wolf about disaster relief. Hypocrite plain and simple.

    May 4, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Wise1Speak

    AAHHHH . . . . . POOR PERRY

    Is this the same jerk that used the threat of Texas seceding from the Union as part of his campaign for governorship? Is this the same idiot who did not know that the last state that seceded from the Union caused a civil war that led to 625,000 total dead and 412,000 wounded or permanently maimed?

    May 4, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Ken from San Antonio

    Mr. Smartypants Perry is getting to sow what he reaped!!
    In the past he diverted federal education funding to the general coffers of texas, he has a $9 billion "rainy day fund" which he has refused to use for state emergencies, but 2 years ago he took moeny out to fund his Rick Perry slush fund to invest in pet projects proposed by his campaign donors.
    Do I feel sorry for Rickie? Not one bit. I do feel sorry for my fellow Texans that we have to tolerate his mis-governorship for another 2 years!

    May 4, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Texas legislature has appropriated $22 million in general revenue funds as requested by Perry to restore the Governors Mansion, which was previously damaged from fire, in addition private citizens have contributed $3.5 million. Plus, Perry and his family, cooks, maids, etc. are renting a property(mansion) and the State is paying for that. Perry found the money then, let him find it now or maybe he can get it from the Koch Brothers. This Governor is a spoiled brat so when things don't go his way his answer is for Texas to sucede and he used that "in your face Mr. President" to decline previous funding which he has now taken. P.S. There is no loss of life from fires here in Texas.

    May 4, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. Laverne

    Oh Mr. Perry you are again trying to pull a fast one on the people of Texas and America. You are deliberately missleading your state into believing government help is not being provided to the people when in fact federal help is received when a disaster can't be managed from on a state and local level. Relax it is not time for re-election yet!

    May 4, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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