Texas Gov. Rick Perry's request denied
May 4th, 2011
05:52 PM ET
7 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. D-NICE

    So Perry is still begging for that sweet federal money. Wasn't it too long ago that Perry was talking about secesssion. Come on Perry, make up your mind. Do you think you can hack it as your own country or not? Apparently not, the state is already getting federal assistance and still wants more. Obama just showed Perry some bootstraps and told him to get to pulling. Freaking hypocrit.

    May 4, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. New Age Independant

    Obama should be ashamed of playing politics when it comes to disasters. Denying this type of request is nothing more then petty politics, but it has become commonplace in the Democrat quid pro quo politics. If this request came from a Democrat voting state, would there be any doubt of support?

    May 4, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. T

    I thought he said that he does not want anything from the Gov. so it is what it is

    May 4, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Jeff Campbell

    What a hypocrite. Perry hates America (he wants Texas to secede), and he hates big government, and here he is crying that our American government money isn't flowing to he and his state.

    May 4, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. thomas

    Gov. Rick Perry and his staff needs to only look at there own lack wildfire management !

    May 4, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    In YOUR FACE – Enough is Enough!!! Besides, ya'll want small government!!!

    May 4, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. goforit

    This is the same Perry who threatened to succeed from the country. I guess this is good practice for that end.

    May 4, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. Larry

    Isn't this the same Governor that refused High Speed Rail fund? The some one that has called for "smaller" Government? I guess smaller except when he needs bigger.

    May 4, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Wise1Speak


    Texas Governor Rick Perry is about as hypocritical as they come. He rant and raged against the economic stimulus package in 2009 and blocked Texas unemployed from receiving unemployment support; while secretly telling Texas’s HHSC and Education Commission to publicly discuss their plans for the stimulus support.

    Now this hypocrite knows full well that Alabama is a far poorer state than Texas and by established rules, will get the support they need faster than Texas. In addition, the cost of the disaster in the southern states (including Alabama) is estimated to be in the $billions; while Texas fire may only top $100-million. Rick is a hypocrite.

    May 4, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    So, pouting Pompadour Perry is pissed, 'cuz the "socialist" will not use the power of "big gubmint" to give his state money for the fires?

    Not now, no way, not ever, said Perry, should the Feds intrude on state's rights.

    Well, you "welfare and drama queen", that includes any state that has 9 billion in state funds for emergencies and you have your hand out for big Fed bucks for free!

    We have 9 billion in the "rainy day" fund Pomp, either keep praying for rain or use money from the fund to reimburse the farmers and ranchers to replace the 500 dead cows and the 100 burned homes. Of course, if you would not allow 3 billion to be used from the fund to prevent cuts to Medicaid and the closing of 800+ plus nursing homes and tossing the patients, into the street, what is a few head of cattle and 100 homes right?

    Remember, this is the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" state all 9 billion of 'em!

    And we should not be asking the United States for foreign aid, remember, we seceded! Perhaps you can bargain with Mexico for a loan.

    But all is not lost, pull up a burnt log, slice off a piece of 200 million dollar barbeque and invite Willie for concert to help raise the 200 million!

    You hypocritical hyena, big government is bad until YOU need it, then seems "socialism" is nothing but good!

    May 4, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Kelly

    Wait, isn't this the same Rick Perry who blasted federal "bailouts" and "entitlements" ? Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    May 4, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  12. R.Williams

    Gov. Perry spent quite a bit of time telling everyone how Texas didn't need or want Federal assistance in many areas, but now is clamoring for it. So what can a Disaster Declaration provide that the 25 grants which already are paying for 75% of the response can not give?

    May 4, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. Mike Dallas

    I am glad President Obama is dissin' Dallas and the environs!

    Perry has been a grade A, number 1 choice a-hole towards this administration, and has been given full throated support by all the right wing "christuns". Even suggesting to the tea baggers secession is a good thing, of course, who knows what the 15% of our state populace that needs Federal food stamps to survive would do, but you think any of these "christians" care? Nope, that is why they are cutting Medicaid and killing both the poor young and the poor elderly.

    Elections do have consequences, so stop whining and deal with it! You voted for him, I certainly did not!

    Of course, Perry could take the fire money out of the political slush fund he claims to use to "bring big bidness" to Texass!

    P.S. That secession speech is what cost us a shuttle in Houston, you moron, it is an AMERICAN icon, and the citizens of the United States wanted it to remain in ONE of the UNITED states!

    May 4, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Roscoe

    I trust FEMA's decision making more than Perry's.....and, that's a pretty big insult. At least FEMA isn't talking about seceding from the Union.

    May 4, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. B

    Didn’t want any part of the government until HE NEEDS needs it.. Same nonsense that All Republicans give about most things governmental.

    Liars and hypocrites.

    May 4, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. payback

    Correct me if I'am wrong. Didn't texas secede from the U.S.? He also said, we don't need no stinking money from the Federal Government. Dude, you can't have it both ways.

    May 4, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Brenda Spears

    I live in Texas and I am totally embarrassed by Perry. Everytime he opens his mouth he sticks his foot in it. He is out for Perry and no one else. In one breath he doesn't believe in government handouts and the next he has his hands stuck out. Knowing him he would probably spend the money on something that it wasn't originally intended for.

    May 4, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. obama sucks

    time for Texas to start the chain of events, succeed from the union and lets fly a new flag over free NON-obama America, tell obamapig to stuff his bacon.

    May 4, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  19. sally

    Wait! I thought Gov. Rick Perry said he opposed FEMA and federal aid and the government feeling responsible for the hurts to the citizens. I thought he said that costs too much.He even wants to secede from the US and not be part of it at all. I guess he just changed his mind when his state needed the money.

    May 4, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |

    Sure thing Perry,.. first you decimate your fire fighting capabilities,.. and now when it comes back to bite you in the arse,.. you expect the other 51 states to bail you out.

    May 4, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  21. Turp Griswald

    Texans don't want or need no money from the Fed. It was wrong for Perry to ask. The greatest State in the Union will do it by ourselves like we've done since the lone star first flied.

    May 4, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" economics has only left a dribbling wet spot on working Americans's shoes!

    Perhaps, Perry the prick, should tell us all just how that whole "trickle down" thingy is supposed to work?

    Or, you could keep declaring a day of "praying for rain", that is ALWAYS so very pro-active.

    May 4, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  23. AnthonyN

    Hey Rick, why don't ya use some of that money that your state uses from its tax revenue to fight the fires. Wait...You gave it away in Oil Subsidies to the big corporations...How is that $25 Billion Dollar Hole working for you?

    May 4, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. Suzette

    I thought TX was a self-sustaining state that did need a dime from the federal goverment. Where is all that secessionist brovado now? What a typical republican, talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    May 4, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. Suzette

    Correction: "...that did not need a dime..."

    May 4, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
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