Three GOP Congressmen, all of which objected strenuously to relief for Hurricane Sandy victims, are now whining because the Obama administration has not done enough to aid Arizona in the wake of the recent wildfires. Jeff Flake, John McCain and Paul Gosar all voted against aid for the victims of Sandy, yet now are complaining that parts of Arizona haven’t been declared disaster areas. McCain and Flake released a joint statement saying that it is “a shame that FEMA couldn’t find it within their mission to help rebuild their homes and lives.” McCain also lamented that with the loss of 19 firefighters and 134 homes “the damage that was done was very substantial and, I believe, qualified.” He has vowed to continue to pressure the President and will be “making some phone calls.”
Gosar claims that the fires are the fault of “radical environmentalists” who have prevented logging on Federal lands and at the same time prevented the Forest Service from properly managing National Forests. He issued his own statement saying that “The federal government bears a responsibility, if not a moral obligation, to assist our community…” This is the same man who, in 2006 voted against the PETS Act which was introduced following Hurricane Katrina due to a large number of people who were stranded because they would not leave their pets behind since the government had made no provision for pets in their emergency plans. He said of relief for Sandy “I am more than willing to support the people and businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy, but that would not take over $50 billion taxpayer dollars.” He then voted against a stripped down bare bones bill providing $9 billion for Sandy. Now he says in his demand for aid to Arizona that it is “reasonable to expect FEMA to step in…”
There does seem to be an underlying pattern to what the GOP finds acceptable and what they find unacceptable roles for the federal government. If their project or their state is going to be the beneficiary of federal largesse they seem to take the position that it’s not only acceptable, but morally obligated. If it is another state or group of which they disapprove, then it is government overreach to commit federal dollars to the project. Can you say “hypocrites”?
Make no mistake, I think the victims of the devastating Arizona fires should be given federal aid so they can recover and rebuild; it’d just be nice if TEApublicans were consistent with their manufactured outrage. I’m not holding my breath.
Watch a video about the horrific Arizona wildfires here: