Fire vs. Flood or East vs. West : Emergency Relief

From the Denver Post editorial page here:

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved more than $50 billion in emergency relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy, a measure that is expected to move quickly through the Senate before being signed into law.

While some Republicans griped about what was included in the House bill and that it was not offset with cuts elsewhere, it’s what’s not in the bill that has us concerned.

Unlike a measure passed by the Senate at the end of the last Congress, the House legislation contains no money for areas in the West besieged by wildfires last year.

We have no complaint about Congress stepping up to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. But the same spirit must extend to less populated areas in the West.

4 thoughts on “Fire vs. Flood or East vs. West : Emergency Relief”

  1. I’m surprised to see this editorial in the Denver Post, especially given the fact that in nearly the entire western US every House Republican voted against Hurricane Sandy Aid. See the very good graphic/map at this link:

    You’ll notice that in the states of SD, NB, KS, NM, CO, WY, MT, ID, UT, AZ, NV, OR every single House GOP member voted against Hurricane Sandy Aid. Therefore, the Denver Post’s lament, “We have no complaint about Congress stepping up to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. But the same spirit must extend to less populated areas in the West” is just bizarre given the facts.

  2. But the Post editorial board is not speaking for House Republicans.. they are speaking for themselves and questioning the outcome of Congressional deliberation or rhetoric or whatever…

    • When the House passed the $50.7 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package 180 members of the US House of Representatives voted against the bill – one was a Democrat and 179 were Republicans.

      I bring this up because nearly everytime I’ve heard the US wildfire funding or relief issue mentioned over the years it has been pitched as an issue of the Western US and deep South (very much GOP strongholds, with a few exceptions) vs the more urban (and Democratic) Eastern US. The concern has always been expressed that those “east coast libs” just don’t understand these issues, etc.

      In any discussion comparing Sandy aid, potential wildfire aid to even past Katrina aid one has to look at the actual vote tally and who, in real life, are the ones opposing these humanitarian aid packages. Seems pretty clear that when 1 democratic members of the House votes against Sandy aid, while 179 GOP house members vote against the Sandy aid that the problem with the deliberation and/or rhetoric is coming from the hypocrisy within the GOP, and not hypocrisy with Congressional funding as a whole.

      P.S. For the record, the last election I voted Dem, GOP, Libertarian, Green Party and had a bunch of write-ins. In other words, I’m not a Dem supporter in any way.

  3. There is a moral hazard in the Federal Government acting as the insurance payer of last resort. People have no skin in the game for catastrophic losses of this magnitude other than the loss of purchasing power by other citizens. Any federal payments should come wiht strings attached.

    Reference the fires in Hamburg, Germany in the nineteenth century that led to the formation of Re Insurance Company. As compard to the Chicago and Pishtago fires in the United States at about the same time.

    Pay the people of New Jersey for their loss. Pay them to rebuild, but not near the coast with the same construction.

    This extraordianry loss payment is usally made by re-insurance companies.Funded by risk policies purchased by the firs insurer.

    The United States began the trend offederal payment of uninsured losses with Hurricane Betsy
    In my opinion, there should be clauses in the federal payment that require thousand year flood, not hundred year. There should be tighter building standards in hazardous areas. Both flood and fire

    FERC should include charges for fuels reduction in the watersheds used for hydro generation and for improved upstream flood control as in Dayton, OH and TVA.

    You don’t have to burn down the house to eat roast pig.


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