Political fight building behind Harvey response

The GOP House plan to take funds from FEMA for the wall is meeting scrutiny.

ST. PETERSBURG — We've been staying away from the politics of this storm since it hit, but now that President Trump has visited, and as some of the flood waters recede, with more and more people needing help, you need to know about some harsh realities.

The President has promised billions of dollars to help Texas rebuild from Hurricane Harvey, but his Republican allies in the House of Representatives are looking to cut almost a billion dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster accounts. That's money that would help people in Texas.

Instead, your taxpayer dollars would go to put a down payment to help build the president's border wall with Mexico.

The president has already promised if he doesn't get funding for his border wall, he's not afraid to go all the way to shutting down the government.

And that leaves big questions over how FEMA would be able to respond to those who need help in Texas.

“The cuts to FEMA can be a big deal, because if people aren't going to get the aid they need immediately, it's going to show up,” said 10News political expert Dr. Lars Hafner. “Once they do the rescue, then they have to come in and set up camp to really help those people that need help. If they're running out of funds and they're not able to help as many people as they need to do, there will be a tremendous backlash. It would be like Bush with Katrina. That could happen to Trump.”

It's almost sure GOP leaders will move to reverse the potential cuts to disaster aid next week.

It would look so bad. There's only $2.3 billion left in FEMA disaster funds, and Harvey recovery is already estimated in the tens of billions of dollars.

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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