September 9th, 2011
12:19 PM ET

Lt. governor: Texas needs disaster declaration from Obama

Texas needs an immediate disaster declaration from President Barack Obama allowing access to heavy equipment and other assistance to help battle wildfires burning across the state, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said.

The White House has not responded to the state's previous request, Dewhurst contends, and "we need help yesterday."

There was no immediate response from the White House.

A disaster declaration would give the state access to heavy equipment, personnel, supplies and other support that would help it respond after nearly 300 consecutive days of wildfires, Dewhurst said.

Obama has approved a limited disaster declaration for fires in April and May.

"But this problem has been ongoing since January," Dewhurst said. "And if anything it's gotten worse."

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Filed under: Fire • Texas
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Jim

    @StephanieG; the problem isn't boots on the ground, it's planes in the air. The State of Texas doesn't have enough tanker planes to make much of a dent in the fire and that's why there's a need for Federal assistance. The Feds should've sent tanker planes in as soon as Perry asked for assistance before the fires got even larger than what they were at the time. I don't know how your fire fighter funding is provided in Texas, so I can't speak to that, but where I live it's done locally by community tax initiatives.

    September 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • RON

      Texas should sell Mr. Perry's race track. With all the jobs he said he created you should have pleanty of help.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    @Allan, Well you didn't really answer anything other than you are possibly willing to let the Feds waltz in and control every single aspect of your life as long as your taken care of. BTW I don't belong to any political party I vote for whoever is the best choice at the time. Sometimes that's Republican sometimes Democrat and yes sometimes Libertarian.

    September 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cigarman

    I just saw on FAUX NEWS that Obama will be claiming that he has created tens of thousands of jobs in Texas because he is the one who threw a lit cigarette butt out of Airforce One when they were flying over Texas a month ago. Oh, im sorry only the illegals in Texas will get those jobs.

    September 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    @Cigarman; Good one.

    September 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    Oh you twisted my use of the word dole also. I was only using it in the context of someone who is willing to allow the Federal Government to run every aspect of their life as long as they can receive money and aid from the Government. I never once mentioned anything about the sick, elderly, poor or unemployed. Since you want to go there however yes there are lazy people who live off the government and take every dime they can, I work in retail so I see it every single day.

    September 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      @Jim, it isn't Obama holding up the process in TX. It is Eric Cantor and Congress they have to find the money. Look it up. Then I guess Obama signs off on it. The congress holds the purse strings.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    The State of Missouri is still working in Joplin not FEMA. And at the moment the State legislature is discussing how much and where the funding should come from out of the State budget.

    September 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Dave, Congress holds the purse strings, look it up. I don't want to blow your mind. But I just looked it up.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Yeddo

    @Dave: you don't to be such an ass hole about it! I asked a question, you didn't have to respond by saying duh. Just answer the BLEEPing question, whichyou did, after making me stupid. Biatch!

    September 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Yeddo

    Why do some people act like a dick?

    September 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Some people are passionately party driven. That is what we are all guilty. Let us hope for the best. Texas is as important as Joplin and LA. and SD. and SC. WE the people not the party. The people we choose do represent who we are to become.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    @Angel; Republicans proposed 3.8 billion in funding for FEMA back in June, Obama asked for 1.8 billion in funding, the Democrats in Congress voted against the measure. Source "The Washington Post".

    September 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      @Dave I know you are passionate, but what did they cut when the debt debacle came about? The congress writes the check and they have the numbers without dems. If you are in the middle of all this I feel sorry for you, I agree it is cr@p. But I read when they pulled fromJoplin there was only 1 billion left in fema funds.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    You maybe right though it might not be Obama holding up the response in Texas but it is the Democrats in Congress and Obama is their leader so in the end it is his fault.

    September 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Dave The dems do not have majority in congress or you talking about the senate?

      September 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim

    @Angel; Texas has a lot of planes sitting on the ground that could help fight the fires but since the Federal Government has control over air space Texas can't use them until they're given the authorization from the White House, so yes he is holding up help.

    September 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Ok wait I will go check this out.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave

    Angel. Democrats have control of the Senate and the White House any bill has to pass both Houses and be signed by the President as I stated above the Republicans offered a bill for 3.8 billion in funding for FEMA back in June, that was 2 billion more than Obama asked for but Democrats voted against the measure.

    September 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dave

    I agree the funding probably needs to be much higher but this bill should've been passed as a stop gap measure until both parties could come together on a way to fund FEMA fully without causing a lot more debt.

    September 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Disaster's don't wait, that is why we need FEMA Fully loaded.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    What's the matter, Texas? Aren't there any FREE MARKET tanker operators to save the day? Wouldn't want to have any of those nasty SOCIALIST government tankers...

    September 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Matt don't be a Bully.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Angel

    @Dave-AFP- Obama called Perry Sept. 7th, offered his condolences on the people who had lost their lives in his state and pledged further assistence after the govenors call for 8 fire mangement associated grants in the last few days. I copied that from a paper. AFP

    September 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
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