Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sequestration Cuts Hit FEMA and NOAA

In case you didn't already know:
Due to the massive cuts brought on by sequestration, the disaster relief section of FEMA's budget will lose $1 billion this year. Following the devastation from Hurricane Sandy earlier this year, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund would pay out a total of $10.8 billion to storm victims by the end of the fiscal year. That would leave $2.5 billion in its disaster fund for the rest of the year. 
While testifying before Congress in March, he said he had concerns that there would be enough money to help state and local governments that help rebuild damaged infrastructure and public. Sequestration also cut $1.9 billion from transportation repair funding and other disaster programs.
Sequestration didn't just affect disaster relief. It will also cut 7 percent of the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which runs the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service and other weather detection programs.
You cannot put a price tag on early warning systems and you cannot measure the impact of having Federal disaster relief work properly. When these things work, they are almost completely transparent, putting lie to the idea that "government is the problem."

Decades of anti-government rhetoric have brought us to where we are in 2013. When there are incidents like the severe weather that devastated Oklahoma, the exposure of Republican and conservative ideology is very telling. Despite years of voting against disaster relief for other Americans, Oklahoma's two senators are now frantically trying to change the subject so they can draw in Federal disaster relief dollars. Despite years of decrying FEMA, and despite cutting its funding, we need FEMA more than ever right now.

These are the priorities of the Republican Party. Destroy the government from within and leave it so that it can't help anyone. When government does help people, it exposes the lies of conservatism.

Why we continue to tolerate the destruction of our society from within is beyond comprehension.

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