Yesterday, we wrote about FEMA's initial denial of a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 13 counties in Texas for flood damage related to tropical storm Hermine. In that story, we quoted Congressman Michael Burgess, who feigned indignation that President Obama would dare not declare a disaster:
“I am disappointed that the Obama Administration has refused to offer Texans the needed disaster declaration and assistance. Tropical Storm Hermine caused eight deaths, widespread flooding leading to more than 100 high water rescues, over 100 residences were destroyed and thousands of citizens were without water and electricity. This storm left behind a disaster – there is no doubt, and it is the responsibility of the federal government to aid the state and counties in clean-up and repairing the damage the storm caused. The fact that the federal government sent $18 million in social security checks to dead people but refuses to help Texas with the damage caused by Tropical Storm Hermine is outrageous.” (emphasis ours)
Today in a statement released to the press, Burgess' opponent in the November election, Democrat Neil Durrance of Denton slammed Burgess for being one of only 37 Congressmen who voted against the very funding that FEMA uses to provide disaster relief, if the declaration had been made. The Homeland Security Funding Bill (H.R. 2892) passed with almost 92% support.
Durrance said Burgess’ stance is hypocritical because the incumbent Congressman voted against the very aid funding that would help North Texans.
Burgess voted against $2 billion in funding for FEMA disaster relief, $844 million to operate FEMA, $200 million for FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, and against $330 million in funding for Emergency Management Performance Grants for state and local government disaster mitigation and preparedness programs.
“I can’t believe that the same Congressman who voted against the funds that would be used for clean-up and repairs in North Texas would now complain about North Texas not getting the funds,” Durrance said. “It’s the case of Dr. Burgess and Mr. Hyde,” he continued.
Durrance, an attorney and former Denton city councilman, said Burgess’ behavior was typical of an out-of-touch Washington insider who has been inside the Beltway too long.
“He’s been in Washington so long he’s forgotten that people back home in the district have access to the Internet and can actually go online and look up his voting record and see that he voted against the very funds he’s complaining about,” Durrance said.
Durrance said that when he is the District’s Congressman, he’ll work on behalf of North Texans and not simply spring up like a jack-in-the-box any time he feels it will get his name in print.
“This is a clear cut example of why North Texas needs new leadership in Congress,” Durrance noted. “He says that it is the federal government’s responsibility to help in the event of a disaster, but votes against the very appropriations that make it possible. That’s nothing more than the politics of convenience,” Durrance said.
“I disagree with the President’s decision not to declare a disaster for the counties affected by Hermine, and I would have never voted against funds that would help the residents and governments of our district recover from a disaster,” Durrance said.
- FEMA Denies Disaster Declaration; Let the Obama Blaming Begin
- Challenger Calls out Burgess on Campaign Claim
- Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Expense
- Burgess obsessing over lightbulbs again
- Durrance Hammers Burgess on TCEQ Flip-Flop